Friday, September 16, 2016
Spiritus Mortis : " the Year is One"
The first thing that hits me about this band from Finland is ex Reverend Bizarre singer Albert Witchfinder has a better voice than I expected. This phrasing reminds me of an older Geddy Lee, though his voice hover's around a mid range with a touch of grit to it. While I prefer clean vocals in metal or any music, there is a very delicate balance that must be achieved or it's easy to fall into the mire of cheese and come across sounding like one of the many power-metal band's that can't shake the ghost of the 80s. Albert is clearly a tenor, but uses a great deal of restraint rather than yodeling all over the place. "I am the Name On Your Funeral Wreath" is a more morning form of doom, but doesn't have the same power of the more up tempo first song.
There is more focus and almost a more Candlemass thing going on for the driving "Babylon Working". Lyrically there seems to be some interest in the occult, though the lyrics seems to be more of a dabbling notion. Harsher vocals begin to creep in a little. The chug of "Jesus Christ, Son of Satan" is pretty powerful. "Holiday in the Cemetery"begins to cast a little light as to why this band is not at their strongest when slowing down to get more morbid. While the singer's voice is a selling point, when he drops into lower keys it often sounds like he doesn't know what to do with himself. Finding his real inner evil and not just the lyrical content is where Albert needs to find his way to. This wandering vocal makes the nine minute "Holiday in the Cemetery" feel every second of nine minutes. The organ sound on this song helps the atmosphere, and as it progresses finds them capturing the needed mood to move in a direction that convinces me they are into necrophilia.
They are more convincing in their intentions to be a doom band on "She Died A Virgin". The lyrics to this one are a little more of a mystery. Not as dynamic as some of the other songs, they are effective at dragging you with them. "Black Magic , White Powder", deals with the subject matter more seriously than say "Snow Blind". I am back to hearing the older Geddy Lee in the phrasing. "World of No Light" doesn't really seem sure of it's self , like Albert came in an over dubbed the vocals without ever playing it live in the same room with the rest of the band, and judging by the fact they are playing only one show for the rest of the year, It is more than likely a fair assessment. Overall if you are looking for doom in the realms of classic metal then these guys are for you I'll give the album an 8.5.