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Spiritus Mortis
Fallen
October 2006
Released: 2006, Black Lotus Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman

This band has been skulking about Finland since the late 80’s, releasing the odd demo and 7”. As with most bands of that ilk—-that skulk about for twenty years without a record deal, as such—there is a general series of reasons for this, ie the band blows, or the band is lazy, or the area is hard to break out of (think Satanic Slaughter, Cianide, and Manilla Road, respectively). The truth is, if your band is unsung, they are probably unplayed.

Truthfully, with Spiritus Mortis, I think it really boils down to timing: here is a band blessed with rich musical and compositional skill, dead-center in the heart of the Scandinavian hotbed…but playing a style that only recently has seen any sort of upsurge.

Up-tempo Doom Rock, ala Floodgate, The Sword, Grand Magus is the order of the day here; and truth be told, this style is overdone, over-appreciated, and cliché…and yet this band manages to maintain interest from start to finish. Spiritus Mortis have taken a tired genre and made it sound positively inspired. Seventies flourishes, rich guitar tones, strong songwriting, and diverse imagery make this a kick in the nads to the casual stoner rock bullshit that normally plagues the scene. Each track is stronger than the last; and yet, I never feel inclined to skip ahead. It has a fat, professional sound, yet an underground attitude. Fans of everything from Pentagram to Firebird will find something to like here.

Black Lotus have a hit here; this is well-done, with a broad appeal. In fact, if the label has their wits about them, they’ll watch their backs with this one…this is the sort of band that gets poached by a major, and ruined fast.

Highlights: “Divine Wind,” “Something Came And Killed,” “Sleeping Beneath The Lawn,” “Wasteland.”
Track Listing

1. Dawn

2. New Age

3. Leave Me

4. Divine Wind

5. Something Came And Killed

6. Beware Of The Quiet One

7. Sleeping Beneath The Lawn

8. All The Words Were Spoken

9. The Omen

10. All This In The Name Of Love

11. Wasteland

12. Goodbye

Lineup

Vesa Lampi - Vocals
Jussi Maijala - Guitar
Kari Lavila - Guitar
Teemu Maijala - Bass
Jarkko Seppälä - Drums

Other reviews

» Demo 2000
by Waspman

» Fallen
by Gabriel C. Zolman

» Fallen
by Madman


Next review: » Spiritus Mortis - Fallen
Previous review: » Spiritus Mortis - Demo 2000

Spiritus Mortis
Fallen
October 2006
Released: 2006, Black Lotus Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Madman

Spiritus Mortis must have some kind of curse on them. Shortly after the band’s self-titled debut was released in 2004 their label, Rage of Achilles went out of business. Now in 2006 the band’s follow-up, FALLEN comes out as Black Lotus closes its doors. To be honest, I don’t even know how well the album’s been distributed since the label went out about the time the album was released.



Spiritus Mortis play doom metal, in the most traditional of styles. Think of the less experimental Cathedral tracks, more rocking Candlemass, or 90’s era Pentagram might be the best reference point I can think of. It certainly has the traditional doom feeling and riffs down pat, maybe a tad more upbeat and rocking (kind of like 90’s Trouble). Vocally Vesa Lampi has a very warm clean voice that sits extremely well over the music, close to JB from Grand Magus/Spiritual Beggars.



The album opens up proper in “New Age”, things immediately sound rather jammy and laid back through the use of the guitar and bass duel and laid back drum beat/fills. The song definitely gets more laid back for the overly distorted guitar solo and bridge. “Leave Me” takes the pace down another notch from “New Age” making a very slow burn doom track; the opening riff slowly fading out into guitar/drum (toms to be specific) interplay with vocals swaying on top. The drawn out main riff that emerges is nothing short of compelling and the way Vesa Lampi finds a way to still carry the melody and the song is impressive to say the least, especially with riffs that strong. The pace picks up instantly for “Divine Wind” taking a very short build up (the typical, play the riff once, build up the drums for the second time through, then have the whole band slam in the third try) before the band completely rocks out. Simple verse riff, just straight chugging with a nice tail ending that elicits some basic drum fills, but hell, it works and it works well. Who can complain? The way the song takes a nice nose dive at 2:29 is interesting, if only for the rather contrasting feel, what with the militaristic marching taking hold for the end of the song.



“Beware of the Quiet One” takes a mid-paced stomp to fruition. The main riff does have some interesting accompaniment with what sounds like some interesting clean guitar thrown behind the main guitar. Vesa’s vocals only add to the laidback atmosphere, his voice so loose and warm that it’s hard to find yourself not swaying back and forth. The album closes as strongly as it began with the trio of “All This in the Name of Love”, “Wasteland”, and “Goodbye”. “All This In the Name of Love” being a complete slow, doom track, moving at a snail’s pace. “Wasteland” starts off the same way but quickly gets into a bouncing rock groove that proves to the be the last heavy song on the album, while “Goodbye” is a soft keyboard/voice track that works well to end the album on a sombre note.



It’s a shame Spritus Mortis have now received two bad breaks in a row because they really are a band that’s worth listening to. This is some great rocking doom metal that needs to be heard and I strongly urge any doom fan out there to attempt to track down not only FALLEN, but the band’s s/t debut album.
Track Listing

1. Dawn
2. New Age
3. Leave Me
4. Divine Wind
5. Something Came And Killed
6. Beware Of The Quiet One
7. Sleeping Beneath The Lawn
8. All The Words Were Spoken
9. The Omen
10. All This In The Name Of Love
11. Wasteland
12. Goodbye

Lineup

Vesa Lampi - Vocals
Jussi Maijala - Guitar
-P Rapo - Guitar, Keyboards
Teemu Maijala - Bass
Jarkko Seppälä - Drums

Other reviews

» Demo 2000
by Waspman

» Fallen
by Gabriel C. Zolman

» Fallen
by Madman


Next review: » Spitvalves - Fine Print At The Bottom
Previous review: » Spiritus Mortis - Demo 2000





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