September 13, 2017

Spiritus Mortis - Fallen (2006)

Country: Finland
Language: English
Genre: Doom Metal
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© 2006 Black Lotus Records
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia
Over the course of a largely undocumented two-decade career, marked by more mistakes and misfires than would be possible to list here, Finland's Spiritus Mortis added yet another blunder to the pile by accepting an offer to record their first full-length album from well-intentioned but financially doomed British label Rage of Achilles, which released that opus only months before going out of business in 2004. Lucky for them, enterprising Greek independent Black Lotus was waiting in the wings, ready to scoop them up for album number two, 2006's Fallen. This, like its predecessor, betrays a strong influence from Chicago's Trouble and Sweden's Grand Magus, while offering surprisingly few examples of the long-winded, sluggish grinds which most listeners would consider classic doom. Rather, Spiritus Mortis prefers -- and excels -- when delivering relatively brisk, hard driving, and notably brief retro-rockers like "New Age," "Divine Wind," and "Wasteland" (where unexpected organs actually have the band sounding like Rainbow). Somewhat more moderately paced standouts include "Leave Me" and "Sleeping Beneath the Lawn," which opens with some minimalist piano tinkles as ominous as its title; but others, like "All the Words Were Spoken" and "All This in the Name of Love," fall a little closer to boredom -- the latter's imaginatively creepy lyrics notwithstanding. Another regular sticking point for Spiritus Mortis' work is Vesa Lampi's somewhat dodgy vocals. Whether due to unsympathetic production or purely to lack of chops (it's hard to put a finger on which) his vocals frequently fail to match the quality standards of the instrumentation behind him. Then again, on the dreadful closing ballad, "Goodbye," the entire group sounds out of sorts, and clearly out of their comfort zone. For the most part, however, Fallen is an entertaining second effort, which shows marked improvement over Spiritus Mortis' first effort -- here's to some measure of stability and fewer distracting mistakes in years to come.

tags: spiritus mortis, fallen, 2006, flac,

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