UK based publisher CULT NEVER DIES recently announced the expanded edition of ‘Secrets Of My Kingdom’, the book originally written by Norwegian visionary artist MORTIIS and published in a highly limited form in 2001.
“Once I got over my personal hang-ups about the Era 1 material, and started reissuing portions of it, I felt that the time was right to start work on a reissue of the ‘Secrets Of My Kingdom’ book. Cult Never Dies had approached me about a reissue a couple of years ago I believe, but I wasn’t quite ready at the time”, recalls the godfather of dungeon synth.
“I had a couple of offers from labels/publishers to do this. At first I stalled with everyone, because I wasn’t really ready personally, to dig into this. When I finally came around, and figured the time was right, I chose Dayal & Cult Never Dies for a few reasons. Mainly because he already had a few books out that focused around the same scene (more or less) that I ‘belonged’ to back in the early to mid 90’s, so that made sense both in terms of his experience in publishing books and also the Cult Never Dies ‘clout’, which I appreciated. I also liked that Cult Never Dies is based in the UK which was a good market for me at one point, and still is. Of course the fact that Dayal also works as a journalist helps, but of course these are based on the way my cynical marketing and business brain works”, enthuses MORTIIS.
A collection of writings accompanied by illustrations from a number of talents, this immersive work significantly fleshed out the universe MORTIIS had drawn upon in his early releases and today changes hands for hundreds of dollars.
“It was a pretty easy process dealing with Cult Never Dies, as we pretty want the same thing with this, which is to retain the spirit of the original release, but update it/add to it where needed, and really just get it out there to everyone that weren´t around the first time, weren´t able to buy it back then, and for all the people that don’t want to dish out € 200 for an original copy today. When I reached out to guys like Juha Vuorma and Mark Riddick, it couldn´t have been easier. Those guys are very easy to deal with, and Mark even dug up a couple of pieces from back in the 90´ies that hadn´t been used, and he made a couple of new ones too, that fit in perfectly with the concept”.
Now considerably expanded, ‘Secrets Of My Kingdom; Return To Dimensions Unknown’ sees this utterly unique work made available once more, this time with previously unseen illustrations and text. The new cover artwork have been made by David Thiérrée, an amazing artist able to create symbolism and subtle hints.
“We’ve collected additional artwork from one of original artists Mark Riddick, and new front cover artwork, inspired by the themes of the book, by David Thiérrée, whom I also collaborated with for the reissue of my first 3 albums. He recreated the artwork all of those with great success. There is a long in-depth interview where I discuss and dissect those days of old when the book was being written originally. There will be a special box set version of the book, that will also include, among other cool things, reproduced prints of selected artwork, some of which were originally made in color, and we’re reproducing them in color for the special edition. Until now they were only printed in black and white”.
Meanwhile extensive interviews with Mortiis himself explain the genesis and evolution of the Mortiis concept. Elsewhere the immense impact upon the ‘dungeon synth’ movement – a genre that is curiously at the height of its popularity today – is also examined in detail.
The book is due to appear in March 2018, and will be released by Cult Never Dies publishing, who have already issued a number of acclaimed titles on black / underground metal and art, including Black Metal: Into The Abyss, Ultra-Damaged (by ex-Mayhem vocalist Maniac) and the recent Doom Metal Lexicanum.