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Spiritus Mortis: The Great Seal

Spiritus Mortis are Finnish veterans of the doom metal scene, existing in some form or fashion since the late 80's. Despite this, The Great Seal is only the band's 5th full fledged LP, which means these guys have better things to do or are ludicrously meticulous with their songwriting.

I feel like the term "doom metal" casts a pretty flipping wide net these days. You have the sludgy primordial ooze kind of acts that make you want to nap, the straight up Sabbath worship kind of acts, the epic euro-stylized kind of stuff, and whatever other offshoots and genre benders that exist these days. Seems to me that Spiritus Mortis plant themselves fairly firmly in the Euro category, which I suppose isn't much of a shock given their country of origin. There's a bit more to it than that, though.

The Great Seal certainly has Candlemass vibes, as most doom bands with melodic tendencies do, but the vocals of new singer Kimmo Perämäki have a really righteous, traditional metal wail to them that brings up the overall mood and zen of the album a few notches from depressive misery. This is certainly not a blistering speed demon of an album, but album opener "Puputan" and album highlight "Khristovovery" are pretty stompy, speedy numbers all things considered, and kick all kinds of ass with memorable guitar parts and caterwauling vocals. The closest point of comparison I have for these tracks are if you took some of Sabbath's Dehumanizer and brought in David DeFeis of Virgin Steele in to record some vocals.

The album's final track is the drenched in molasses "Are You a Witch", which is a traditional doom album closer that I feel brings the album's momentum to a screeching halt, but it's certainly not lacking in melodrama and atmosphere. All told, The Great Seal is a good listen for fans of the genre, and fans of Doom as well as the Dio era of Sabbath should find some stuff to like here.

1. Puputan
2. Death's Charioteer
3. Martyrdom Operation
4. Skoptsy
5. Khristovovery
6. Vision of Immortality
7. Feast of the Lord
8. Are You a Witch

Added: December 8th 2022
Reviewer: Brandon Miles
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 479
Language: english

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