|Also known as||Rigor Mortis (1987 - 1988)|
|Years active||1988 - Present|
|Labels||Svart Records, High Roller Records, Rage of Achilles, Black Lotus Records, Firebox Records, I Hate|
|Associated acts||Reverend Bizarre, Lampaanvapahtaja, Slayer Angel, Diesense, Masquerage, Backhill, Celesty, Spellwitch, The Unchained, Crow's Flight, Blueberryhill, Isengard, Dreamfall, Azrael Rising, Loinen, Opium Warlords, KLV, The Puritan|
|Website||Spiritus Mortis Official|
Spiritus Mortis are a doom metal band originating from Alavus, Finland.
Forming initially in 1987 as Rigor Mortis and adopting the Spiritus Mortis name in the summer of 1988 they are notable as Finland's first doom metal band. With the Maijala brothers as the founding and consistent core members the band established a doom tone of growling bass, massive guitars and thundering drums. The band derived lyrics based in death and the esoteric, common in the genre.
The band's early years comprised entirely of recording demos and attaining a cult following in the underground doom scene, before finally releasing their first studio album in 2004. The band has since released three more studio albums and done a handful of tours, still remaining active while many of their contemporaries and kindred spirits have come and gone.
- 1 History
- 2 Discography
- 3 Members
- 4 Tours
- 5 External Links
- 6 References
History[edit | edit source]
Early Years (1987 - 2002)[edit | edit source]
Spiritus Mortis was initially founded in the Summer of 1987 as Rigor Mortis, with the founding lineup being Teemu Maijala, Jussi Maijala and Veli-Pukka Rapo. Initially Rapo was meant to be a temporary drummer in the band's beginnings but ultimately took the role over time. The band also tried to search for a vocalist from the start so Teemu could perform solely as a bassist but ultimately had to juggle bass and vocals for years.
Rigor Mortis' first gig was on 29 December 1987 at Hotelli in Atavus (With Matahari, Crom and other bands. Rigor Mortis would perform five more gigs in 1988 before the name change. To avoid confusion with a United States-based band with the same name the group would change their name to Spiritus Mortis, performing their first gigs as such on an unknown date in 1988 (At Nuorisotilat.) and on 20 December 1988 (At Yläaste.).
The band would perform a handful of gigs in 1989 and then perform sporadically up until 1996, only performing one or two gigs a year. The band's activity would slow down due to, as they cited on their history page, "studies, real jobs and military service" and that SM almost dried out in the 90s. Notably the band did release their first demos around the same time (At The Halls of Death on 7 August 1990, a demo on 5 January 1994, another demo on 14 November 1996 and two demos in 1997; An untitled demo on 6 June 1997 and Ars Moriendi on 12 December 1997). Many of these demos would be shared around Europe and even in the United States, attaining an audience for Spiritus Mortis among a deep-rooted cult of doom fans. The band would also gain a vocalist in Tomi Murtomäki from 1997 - 1999, but ultimately did not perform live around this time.
In 2000 Spiritus Mortis would return to the live stage and obtain a new singer in Vesa Lampi. They would record a demo that same year (Released on 21 April 2000) to positive reviews among various magazines. Unhappy with performing drums and expressing more of a desire to play guitar, Rapo would become the second guitarist while the band found a new drummer in Veli-Matti Yli-Mäyry the next year. The band would also participate in a "tour" (Actually four individual dates in 2001 and 2002) with two newer mainstays in the Finnish doom scene: Reverend Bizarre and Minotauri. The band also saw release of two demos those years (Forward to the Battle on 28 February 2001 and Hot Summer of Love on 30 October 2002).
Spiritus Mortis and Fallen (2004 - 2007)[edit | edit source]
By 2003 the band had managed to write and record over thirty original songs and finally would begin recording a studio album, also obtaining a new drummer in Jarkko Seppälä. Recording on this debut album would begin in January 2003, following a similar motif to Asylum/Unorthodox and Pentagram in re-recording old demo songs while working in newer material. The album would be shopped around to several labels, ultimately the band choosing to work with Rage of Achilles. Re-recording several songs from their demos along with a handful of new songs written for the album, Spiritus Mortis was released on 26 January 2004 to positive reviews among the doom circles and a release party two days prior at Capri in Alavus. The band would follow up with an appearance at Doom Shall Rise Festival in Göppingen, Germany, their first live performance outside of Finland.
The band would perform several more shows surrounding the debut album in 2004, notably two dates in a mini-tour of sorts with Reverend Bizarre. However the Rage of Achilles label would go under in August, several months after releasing the record, leaving Spiritus Mortis on the hunt for a new label. While recording the second album in 2005 the band would seek help from a friend in Tom Phillips (While Heaven Wept) the band would land a deal with another label in Black Lotus Records. After the recording of their second album founding member Rapo would move to Stadingrad and the band would find a new guitarist in Kari Lavila.
Fallen would be released on 6 March 2006 via Black Lotus Records with a release party on 11 March at Pub Joronjälki in Alavus. The band would perform a handful of gigs supporting the album, including a two-day Friends of Hell tour with Reverend Bizarre and Minotauri that December, both of whom announced were calling it quits the next year. Ironically Black Lotus Records would also go under the same month, leaving the band without a label again.
The band would perform a string of shows in 2007 but vocalist Vesa Lampi would leave, citing a disinterest in the music business. Tomi Murtomäki would return to the band after nearly a decade away from the vocal role, including a special gig showcasing all eras of the band to that point and a string of dates supporting the band's 20th anniversary.. The band's first album would be issued on vinyl for the first time via Metal Warning and a split with The Gates of Slumber would be released known as From The Ultima Thule, SM's side being a remastered "best-of". However following the 20th anniversary tour Murtomäki would leave the group due to motivational issues, with the band returning to the shadows for a time.
The God Behind The God (2009 - 2010)[edit | edit source]
On 23 September 2008 it would be announced that Spiritus Mortis had signed to a new label in Firebox Records and that a third album was finished by October 2008. On 22 January 2009 it would be revealed that the new lead singer for Spiritus Mortis would be former Reverend Bizarre frontman/bassist Sami Hynninen, who contributed his vocals to the new album. Hynninen's first gig with Spiritus Mortis would be on 21 February 2009 at Lekkeri Winterfest NS in Tuuri, performing almost entirely new songs.
More details would be revealed leading up to the official release, such as a promotional single, a full stream of the new album and the artwork leading up to the release of the band's third studio album The God Behind The God on 13 May 2009. Featuring eight brand new songs, The God Behind The God would attain positive reception from the likes of MetalRage, Disagreement and a host of other critics. Spiritus Mortis would have their most extensive year on the road in support of The God Behind The God, participating in a full tour of Europe and appearing at a host of festivals such as Dooomstock, Hammer of Doom Festival, Jalometalli, Dutch Doom Day and Metal Warning Festival. Following two more gigs in 2010 the band would go on a hiatus. A 7" split with Pale Divine would be released the next year, both bands contributing Deep Purple covers. Both of the band's first two albums would also get reissued via High Roller Records and Svart Records in 2012.
The Year Is One (2016 - Present)[edit | edit source]
On 26 September 2016 it would be announced that Spiritus Mortis had now signed with Svart Records, along with details and a release date for their fourth album. On 6 October the band would premiere a new song in "Babalon Working" to promote this new album followed by a full stream in November. The Year Is One would be released on 11 November 2016 to positive reviews. The band's first show since 2010 would be at Nosturi supporting Pentagram and Satan. Spiritus Mortis would follow up with a host of shows in 2017 with a handful of shows and an appearance at Blowup Festival for their third edition.
The next year the band would perform two gigs in January for Svart Fest, also revealing a new singer in Kimmo Perämäki. To date Spiritus Mortis are still active performing occasional gigs in Finland.
Discography[edit | edit source]
Studio Albums[edit | edit source]
- Spiritus Mortis (2004, Rage of Achilles)
- Fallen (2006, Black Lotus Records)
- The God Behind The God (2009, Firehouse Records)
- The Year Is One (2016, Svart Records)
Demos[edit | edit source]
- At The Halls of Death (1990, Self-Released)
- Demo '94 (1994, Self-Released)
- Demo '96 (1996, Self-Released)
- Demo '97 (1997, Self-Released)
- Ars Moriendi (1997, Self-Released)
- Demo 2000 (2000, Self-Released)
- Forward to the Battle (2001, Self-Released)
- Hot Summer of Love (2002, Self-Released)
Other Releases[edit | edit source]
- From The Ultima Thule (Split Album with The Gates of Slumber) (2007, Emissary)
- Knock 'Em Down to Size Part I (Split 7" with Reverend Bizarre, Solstice, Tortured Spirit, Griftegård, Upwards of Endtime) (2007, Metal Coven)
- Burned Alive (Split Live Album with Witchtiger) (2008, Metal Warning)
- When the Wind Howled with a Human Voice (7" Single) (2009, Firebox)
- Spiritus Mortis / Fall of the Idols (Split Album with Fall of The Idols) (2009, I Hate)
- Imperial Anthems No. 6 (Split 7" with Pale Divine) (2011, Cyclone Empire)
Members[edit | edit source]
Current Members[edit | edit source]
- Teemu Maijala - Bass (1987 - Present); Vocals (1987 - 1996)
- Jussi Maijala - Guitars (1987 - Present)
- Jarkko Seppälä - Drums (2003 - Present)
- Kari Lavila - Guitars (2006 - Present)
- Kimmo Perämäki - Vocals (2018 - Present)
Former Members[edit | edit source]
- Veli-Pekka Rapo aka VP Rapo - Drums (1987 - 2000); Guitar (2000 - 2006)
- Tomisabero Wakayama Murtomäki - Vocals (1997 - 1999, 2007)
- Vesa Lampi - Vocals (1999 - 2007)
- Veli-Matti Yli-Mäyry - Drums (2001 - 2003)
- Sami Hynninen - Vocals (2008 - 2017)
Tours[edit | edit source]
- Friends of Hell (With Reverend Bizarre, Minotauri) (2001/2002)
- 2004 Mini-Tour (With Reverend Bizarre) (2004)
- Friends of Hell II (With Reverend Bizarre, Minotauri) (2006)
- 20 Years of Spiritus Mortis (With Funeral Planet) (2007)
- The God Behind The God European Tour (2009)
External Links[edit | edit source]
Official Links[edit | edit source]
- Gig History from Official Page
- Spiritus Mortis Facebook
- Spiritus Mortis Forum
- Spiritus Mortis YouTube