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Spiritus Mortis - The Year Is One Award winner

Spiritus Mortis
The Year Is One
by Gabriel “Svrtr” Zimmermann at 20 March 2017, 5:59 AM

Everything must have a first, and in this case I speak of SPIRITUS MORTIS, and what is widely considered one if not the first Finnish Doom metal band. Considering the rapid evolution and introduction of metal subgenres and them having been active since 1987, this is a fair assumption. Today I will be speaking on their newest full length album, “The Year Is One,” which right off the bat. I will say is very well made and that I really enjoyed it barring some instances where I think the songs were dragged out a bit too long. Without further ado, I will dive right in.

Opening with “Robes of Ectoplasm”, overall the song does well to start the album off strong. I will admit, the riffs and vocal styles of the verses may not be my favorite, but I very much enjoyed the choruses. Great riffs and vocals, and the overall lyrical theme of the song really does scream “Traditional Doom Metal” and it screams it loud and beautifully, as the song is very well done. The somber sound of the song leaves a clear and gloomy impression as doom metal aspires to do to do. Following this is “I Am A Name on Your Funeral Wreath”, which really goes below and beyond (and yes, it is a terrible joke) for how slow and “doom-esque”, for lack of a better term, the song is. Regardless, this song even better epitomizes doom metal for its tempo, the somber lyrical themes, and its sludgy slow riffs. Overall though, the song is very well done. I am quite a fan of the progression in the song, as well as the riffs and tempos, and I cannot give enough praise for the riffs and the tempo of them. My only complaint, and one that is really from personal standpoint, is the way the song closes. I think a slower fadeout could have been more fitting instead of the song suddenly spiking and abruptly stopping. However, this song is still great in my eyes.

Next up is “Babalon Working”, one of the more intense songs on the album by comparison. Featuring some great riffs that are more technically complex and still a great progression, the song is definitely good and I do quite love the guitar work here, yet I personally prefer the previous song. Regardless, the song is still great for its guitar work and still has a great tempo. However, what is likely is my favorite song is also the longest, “Holiday in a Cemetery”. Including what sounds like an organ, the song does have very long lasting periods of just guitar work but it is those guitar periods that I love. I am a bit torn as I do think the song can drag on, but I love what is done. In the end though, the great sound of the guitar work that permeates the song wins, though the closing of the song does take up two minutes. The progression of the riffs and the synchronicity of the lead guitar, rhythm guitar, and the organs in the background mesh amazingly creating an amazing song. The album as a whole is great but this song stands out clearly for me, and goes above and beyond for doom metal and its melodic sound. If you listen to this album, be sure to listen to this song.

Finally the album closes with “World of No Light”, which is in a similar case. While “Holiday in a Cemetery” is my favorite song, this one is a very close second. It too has some great guitar work and progression that fill the space without vocals in the same melodic and somber sense that I love, but what I also love here is the bass work. Slow and sludgy, though harder to hear, but once you do hear it, it is hard to ignore it and its excellence. What I love most is what can be considered the guitar solo on this track, the likes of which has amazing progression that I cannot find fault with.  The closing of the song is also amazing, slowly turning up in intensity until a kind of rapid yet slow fade out. Overall, if not for the other this would be my favorite song on the album.Overall, this was an amazing piece of doom metal. There are some very minor faults here and there but I very much loved the album. I cannot wait to hear more from the band and highly recommend this album to anyone.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Robe of Ectoplasm
2. I Am A Name on Your Funeral Wreath
3. Babalon Working
4. Jesus Christ, Son of Satan
5. Holiday in the Cemetery
6. She Died a Virgin
7. Black Magic, White Powder
8. World of No Light
Teemu Maijala - Bass
Jussi Maijala - Guitar
Jarkko Seppälä - Drums
Kari Lavila - Guitar
Sami Hynninen - Vocals
Record Label: Svart Records


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Edited 24 March 2018

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