Since a friend introduced me to Candlemass in my early teens, Doom Metal holds a special place in my heart, and although the slow and heavy vibrations of Doom sometimes is a harsh mistress, from time to time being as boring as the clocks stop, it still holds me in a firm grip and ever so often actually invites to a trip into sheer heavenly (or hellish) delight!
With “The World is Doomed” I hope to present to you, some of the highlights, and maybe some lows, of my over thirty year long love affair with the heaviest music in the world, Doom Metal, so put your hand on your cross, grab a beer an put on your finest funeral gown and follow me into the wonderful world of gloom and despair!
Spirirtus Mortis – The Year is One (1916)
Finland as a Doom Metal country is not a long shot with their history (warning, prejudice ahead) of depression, despair and suicidal amounts of liquor and knife fights and although, their foremost act might be the mighty Reverend Bizarre which reaped success in the dawning of the 21st century, Finland have a quite rich fauna of more or less classic Doom Metal-bands such as the Funeral Doom-pioneers in Thergothon, classic doomsters Minotauri and not the least, considered Finland’s first ever Doom Metal-band, Spiritus Mortis who’s been around since 1987 (formed as Rigor Mortis) and by now could be considered somewhat of an institution in the finish metal scene.
Although their early releases where kind of generic Doom Metal which, in my book, wasn’t much to write home about, they in 2009 got a real boost as Sami “Albert Witchhunter” Hynninen of (then late) Reverend Bizarre-fame joined their ranks. Even if their first efforts with Albert behind the microphone didn’t drift that far from their earlier releases, they really hit the Jack Pot with their 2016 release “The Year is One”!
“The Year is One” took Spiritus Mortis out on far darker waters and in contrast to their former, more standardized form of Black Sabbath/Pentagram-resembling music, they now reached a new form of heaviness, and besides mostly being far slower, darker and more sinister than their early efforts, contained a clear metal edge.
With titles like “I Am a Name on Your Funeral Wreath”, “Jesus Christ, Son of Satan”, “She Died a Virgin” and “Black Magic, White Powder” you can tell that Spiritus Mortis now have completely left the old safe world of traditional doom-lyrics dealing with religious doubt, loneliness, mourning and such nonsense and switched to a kind of finish trademarked, sleazy, bizarre fetishistic death worship mixed with some black humor and the horror themes foremost made famous by Italian Doom Metal-bands.
Their newfound evil heaviness was, of course, tastefully spiced up with Albert Witchfinders enigmatic voice and if you ask me, on “The Year is One” he outperformed himself and delivered the best vocals (so far) in his career!
Although most of the songs on “The Year is One” scuffel along at a snails pace, the album actually opens with a couple of, considering the context, “faster” songs, the trio in “Robe of Ectoplasm”, “Babalon Working” and “Jesus Christ, Son of Satan” but after that lively introduction the handbrake is pulled and we are thrown into an abyss of slowly grinding madness for real, and as you might have guessed, this is the part I like the most!
Slow paced monsters as earlier mentioned “I Am a Name on Your Funeral Wreath” and the concluding majestic “World of No Light” is Doom Metal at it’s absolute finest and with the crown of the album, the (as I say “most Italian Doom Metal song newer recorded by an Italian band”) graveyard romantic, ten minutes epic “Holiday in the Cemetery” which mixes cheer ultra heaviness with some of the most enchanting melodies ever written, the Doom worship is total!
By this time you might get the feeling that I really like this album and by that assumption you are quiet correct, because I find “The Year is One” to be, if not the, but at least among the best Doom-albums ever released! The fact that this fantastic album comes from a group that I honestly didn’t care much for does make it even more enjoyable and if you ask me, a true accomplishment!
“The Year is One” is truly a Doom Metal gem!