Spiritus Mortis - The God Behind The God
Spiritus Mortis is suppose to be the oldest doom metal band in Finland and their original influences being Celtic Frost, Venom and Black Sabbath. Even though the band formed way back in the 80's they haven’t been able to release that many official albums. They recorded some 8 demo's before finally releasing their first full length in 2004. When the Reverend Bizarre broke up a few years ago some doom fans must have like a hole had been made in their world, luckily for them their guitarist formed a new traditional doom band Lord Vicar and luckily also their singer/bassist Sami "Albert Witchfinder" Hynninen has been involved in bands like The Puritan. In addition Sami joined Spiritus Mortis as their lead singer and the guy’s classic voice really suits the band's sound. The new "The God Behind the God" album that’s also available on vinyl now has eight tracks and Sami has had a lot to do with the writing process. This album kicks off with "The Man Of Steel" which is a bit up-tempo with its double kick drums and N.W.O.B.H.M feel, its a good opener but for me its actually the worse track on the album. The CD gets much better from here on, "Doom Bride" is the albums first trip into doom metal and its a great one. Its pretty slow with melancholy melodies that remind me of Candlemass, in the middle of the track there is some acoustic guitar and whispering vocals which adds to the dark feel of the song, this continues till you get a faster metal part with a good solo at the end. "The Rotting Trophy" has a great riff that i have heard somewhere before but that doesn't really matter, it also has some great vocals. "Curved Horizon" has a bit of a Saint Vitus vibe about it, its a lot more atmospheric and has some excellent use of harmony vocals towards the conclusion of the track. "When the Wind Howled with a Human Voice" is next and comes off like sounding like filler material, its hardly a bad track though. This album has a couple of mediocre moments and this is one of them even though it is heavy traditional doom which i love. Next up is "Heavy Drinker" and this has a Danzig gone doom vibe with a Trouble sounding riff thrown in for good measure and yes it is indeed a song about the curse of alcohol. The highlight of the album for me is the epic "The God Behind the God". A good but long journey in the occult-filled world of Mr.Hynninen, the track defines the band's sound totally for me. The track is great but at the 7 minute mark the guitars fade out and we get some very intimate vocals before the guitars join in again. This disrupts the flow of the track for me but that is a minor detail overall. The album ends with "Perpetual Motion", another short track that is straight to the point much like the way the album started. This tune seems to have a "Manilla Road" vibe about which isn't a bad thing but i think the epic title track would have been a better closer. I rate this album second to "Fallen" as their best work so far, sure it has a couple of moments that are average but there is nothing on this album i wouldn't listen to. I am hoping the presence of Hynninen can give this band some much needed recognition as i think they deserve a much bigger audience within the doom community.