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Officium Triste - Mors Viri Award winner

Officium Triste
Mors Viri
by Rebecca Miller at 11 July 2013, 11:12 AM

Dutch Doom Metallers OFFICIUM TRISTE have been around for a while, since the early nineties, spawning the label ‘Rotterdoom’ as testament to where they hail from. They’ve amassed quite the fan base, and this newest album, “Mors Viri” is sure to please a lot of them.

It’s a Doom Metal album, sure, but it’s not too Doomy if you catch my drift. It doesn’t feel like it’s just dragging its knuckles for 50 minutes whilst having a boulder strapped to its back. In fact, the time I was listening to the album seemed to pass by in a flash, even the ten and a half minute album closer “Like Atlas” didn’t feel like it was that long? Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s most definitely Doom Metal, the riffs are heavy and mournful, and the lyrics and vocals are filled with haunting sadness. It’s got all the emotion and evocativeness that you’d expect in this genre of music. My two favourite tracks were the aforementioned “Like Atlas”, and “To The Gallows” which incorporated some of the clean vocals, and was just a wonderful song. “Like Atlas” can only be described as beautiful, if I’m honest. The fact that it’s ten minutes long allows the band to take the listener on a journey, and it ends with some stunning and, dare I say it, uplifting guitar work at the end.

There’s a lot of complexity and depth to “Mors Viri”, and of course the credit to this goes to the members of the band. The vocals are almost unintelligible, but they’re not so brutal that it’s like a mess of sounds. The bass and guitars are the core of the quintessential Doom Metal vibe, with riffs and melodies that really hold the entire album together. The synths create the atmosphere that made this album such a pleasure to listen to. You’re aware of them, but they don’t turn the sound into some sort of weird Doomy Prog. Even the drumming gets highlighted, adding to the atmosphere, and tying all the other instruments together. It’s the complete package, really, the production values are really high, and the volume fluctuates, really emphasizing the difference between the quieter and louder parts. The two interludes really add to it as well, linking the tracks together, but not feeling like they’ve been added in as an afterthought.

“Mors Viri” really impressed me, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the word masterpiece is often mentioned when discussions about it take place. It’s definitely sure to please the fans, even if it might be more melodic than some of their earlier albums. It’s an album that leaves you feeling like you’ve experienced a journey, rather than just listening to some songs.

4 Star Rating

1. Your Fall From Grace
2. Burning All Boats And Bridges
3. Interludium
4. Your Heaven, My Underworld
5. Interludium
6. To The Gallows
7. The Wounded And The Dying
8. One With The Sea (Part II)
9. Like Atlas
Pim Blankenstein – Vocals
Bram Bijlhout – Guitars
Gerard De Jong – Guitars
Lawrence Meyer – Bass
Martin Kwakernaak – Synths
Niels Jordaan - Drums
Record Label: Hammerheart Records


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