""The Great Seal" opens a new chapter for Spiritus Mortis, provider of a Doom Metal more heavy than mythological."
CHILDERIC THOR (26.12.2022)  
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Veteran of the Finnish doom chapel in which they've been preaching since 1987, Spiritus Mortis had to wait seventeen years (!) to give birth to their first album and another five years to find the missing masterpiece to their art in the person of singer Sami Hynninen, better known as Albert Witchfinder when he officiated within Reverend Bizarre. With this last one, the band gives birth to its two most beautiful albums: "The God Behind The God" (2009) then "The Year Is One" (2016). Notwithstanding the talent of the other musicians including the guitarist Jussi Maijala, the last historical member with his brother and bassist Teemu, we must admit that the hiring of Hynninen was not foreign to this success. 

Unfortunately, the singer has since left them, forming Friends Of Hell with, among others, the former Sentenced Taneli Jarva. If we suspected that he would probably not stop until the end of his career with Spiritus Mortis, his departure remains a disappointment. How many other great records will never see the light of day? For all that, the Alavus quintet survives him and thus continues its way. At its own pace. Kimmo Perämäki has the heavy task of replacing the Finnish doom legend. With his pedigree more typed heavy metal than dolorist announces the colors that "The Great Seal" will raise, offering consequently less telluric and simply more rock although always generous in lead. We are still talking about doom!

Does this make this fifth effort a bad album? Of course not, even if, let's admit it, its first listening is a bit annoying. It seems to miss this album this excess or even this madness that Sami injected by his charismatic presence. The result seems at first to be ordinary, as if the Finns were suddenly cramped, while the new recruit's vocals are frustrating because of his high lyricism, reminding a bit of Candlemass from the "Chapter VI" era ('Puputan'). However, after a few listenings, "The Great Seal" ends up revealing itself in all its dark beauty, releasing by small pointillist touches its treasures buried in its cellars.

The band has lost nothing of its science of the iron riff nor of its melodies chiselled. Thick, each title keeps a massive efficiency, cast in the crucible of a Doom from now on more heavy than sententious, nourished of this lyric if not emphatic sap inoculated by Kimmo Perämäki. Often flamboyant but always crushing, the guitars irrigate these processions that they plough with power ('Death's Charioteer') and emotions (the sabbathian 'Feast Of The Lord', certainly the G point of the program). Without leaving its rocky crust nor sometimes a very funeral slowness (the terminal 'Are You A Witch'), the art that the Scandinavians carve does not surprise less by its frankly melodic attires ('Kristovovery') or even downright Hard Rock ('Martydom Operation').

Driven by a writing as precise as gleaming, associated to a goldsmith execution, "The Great Seal" dazzles by the strength of an expression henceforth less dark although quite as grandiose. Spiritus Mortis turned the page of the former Reverend Bizarre with an undeniable success although less memorable certainly.
- Official website

01. Puputan - 04:49
02. Death's Charioteer - 06:12
03. Martyrdom Operation - 04:59
04. Skoptsy - 05:47
05. Khristovovery - 06:17
06. Vision Of Immortality - 02:44
07. Feast Of The Lord - 06:10
08. Are You A Witch - 07:07

Jussi Maijala: Guitares
Kari Lavila: Guitares
Kimmo Perämäki: Chant
Markus Kuula: Batterie
Teemu Maijala: Basse
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