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Spiritus Mortis : The Year Is One

While the album may not try anything new, Spiritus Mortis exemplify tight musicianship with a classic, energy-driven sound.

Complete with tremolo-picking riffs, epic vocals, and sluggish instances of Doom, Spiritus Mortis brings us a great album with ’The Year Is One’. The songs are diverse and entertaining, with production that has a nice, organic sound to it. While the album may not try anything new, it does exemplify some tight musicianship, making it a notable effort that shouldn’t be overlooked.

The most salient feature of ’The Year Is One’ is its precise, and perfectly executed vocals. Their tone is wide and open, sitting on top of the arrangements quite well during both the fast and slow sections. The vocals also make use of a few speaking parts - something which is anathema to me - yet they aren’t overdone, and on track 6, they seem to add to the arrangement musically. Overall, people who are fans of bands like Khemmis and Candlemass for their singers should appreciate the, epic sounding, belting tone of Spiritus Mortis’s sung vocals - no screams to be found here, save for a few well placed grunts, particularly on the third track, ‘Babalon Working’.

The instruments pack a solid punch, and the guitar and drum mix couldn’t be better; you can hear every note and piece of the kit. There are also some rare instances of lead playing, most of them being some chaos filled guitar solos which give the arrangements an explosive quality, and despite their veracity, they occupy their own part of the frequency spectrum without getting in the way of anything else that’s going on. Sadly, all the action of the album’s drum and leads aren’t always matched by the rhythm guitar parts. These can feel a little mundane sometimes, particularly in the eighth note chugging riffs; like on the supercilious song, ‘Jesus Christ, Son of Satan’.

’The Year Is One’ does explore a variety of moods, an attribute which may be its greatest feature. There are epic, Power Metal inspired moments such as the chorus to the opening track, brooding lamentations, such as the track, ‘I am a Name on Your Funeral Wreath’, and even sinister sounding Doom songs, like the fourth track, ‘Holiday In The Cemetery’ - which may be the weakest track on the album, as its cheesy opening lyrics made it somewhat hard to take seriously.

Spiritus Mortis also gives us some melodic riffing throughout the album, and these moments become more pronounced as ’The Year Is One’ comes to a close. While I wouldn’t call it a groundbreaking effort, the album is an impressive one. Its variety in compositional moods and the musical proficiency of its performers are evident right off the bat. ’The Year Is One’ is for those looking for a classic, energy-driven sound in their Doom Metal.

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Reviewer's rating: 7.5/10


Tracklist :
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

Duration : Approx. 54 minutes

Visit the Spiritus Mortis bandpage.

Reviewed on 2016-10-23 by Alex Drozd
Thermal Mass
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