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Starting his career as bass player in Norwegian black metal band Emperor, Mortiis eventually left over to pursue his solo career. Abandoning heavy metal music, he dedicated himself to compose eerie and melancholic dark ambient soundtracks. After self- releasing a demo cassette, he had his first LP issued by German label Malicious Records, then he entered the pantheon of notorious Swedish company Cold Meat Industry, boosting his career. Meanwhile, Mortiis also released a bunch of records through his own self-produced Dark Dungeon Music, particularly by his various side-projects Vond, Fata Morgana and Cintecele Diavolui (see the relative Discogs entries). In 1999 Mortiis surprisingly left Cold Meat Industry and signed a contract with British label Earache, which released "The Stargate", his final ambient orchestral opus. With "The Smell Of Rain" (2001) Mortiis has definitively abandoned ambient music to go back to a song-oriented approach, mixing electro, synth pop and heavy guitars. He has become a sort of gothic icon due to his bizarre dark elf make up, which he has always used since his very early days.