Finland is known for its long, cold winters and suitably despondent music to go with it. Spiritus Mortis were in fact the country’s first ever doom metal band and have been cranking up the misery for almost 30 years.
Moving as fast their riffs, The Year Is One is only their fourth full album in that time. Since 2009 they’ve boasted the vocal talents of Sammi Hynninen, best known as Albert Witchfinder from the legendary Reverend Bizarre. Here he’s stretched and developed his voice to a rich sonorous croon that’s now one of the very best in the genre. This is not an album for those who think doom is about fuzz and drug references only; drawing on early Candlemass, Dio-era Sabbath and Revelation, it’s all about epic highs and dismal lows – an emotional journey rather than a vintage guitar pedal show. Boasting a fistful of bona fide classics, The Year Is One should be on your bleak Xmas list.