REVIEW: MORS PRINCIPIUM EST – “Embers of a Dying World”
I have always been fond of Mors Principium Est and feel like they don’t get the attention that they deserve. When asked my thoughts on the band I continually tell people that I think they are a melodic death metal band that has always stood in the shadows of many of their contemporaries and could be considered the underdogs of the melodeath world, always striving to break away but never achieving that critical success that some of their peers get. With that being said, if someone asked me my thoughts on the band following the release of their new album Embers of a Dying World, I would probably tell you that this might be the year that supporting the underdog finally pays off!
From the minute you start listening to Embers of a Dying World you realize that it is Mors Principium Est album through and through. The band follows their tried and true recipe that they have stuck with, cultivated and now excel at throughout all these years by inter-playing the drumming and the guitar riffs efficiently at every step of the album. Where most other melodic death metal bands have really tried to fuse the keys/programming with the guitars, Mors Principium Est follows a different road and highlights the drumming on their tracks before beautifully layering the guitars over to create a sound that is quite unique. This is something that the band has done for several albums now and helps emphasize the propulsive nature of their songs that just gets the blood pumping and the energy flowing. Musically, this album is tight, and that’s where most its core strengths are, but when you introduce the vocals into the mix, you find the point at which the album really takes off.
Embracing that aggression that the band is known for, Ember sis absolutely at its best when Ville Viljanen’s vocals are introduced on each track. I’m not sure if it was a conscious decision but by giving most songs a bit of an instrumental introduction before having Viljanen come in screaming like an architect of the apocalypse really heightens those opening moments of each song. Slamming his best recorded vocal performance to date, it is these bone chilling growls that bring a new life and purpose to each song. While lyrically this album follows the same established norm that we are all acquainted with now (Death and Destruction– what else?), there is just an energy about it this time round where it seems like nothing is overdone and everything connects together perfectly. This is particularly apparent on tracks like ‘Masquerade’ and ‘Into the Dark’.
When taken and digested as a complete package, this album feels like a breath of fresh air in a catalogue that has been building for a release like this. For far too many years I feel like Mors Principium Est haven’t received the adoration that they deserve. They are a band that is absolutely kicking goals and each record has been a considerable improvement on their previous efforts; which given the length of their career thus far – and the relatively few albums they have released in that time – shows a commitment to quality over quantity. While Embers of a Dying World might not be the best album to come out this year (its early days so who knows, it just might be!), it certainly started 2017 with a bang and is one hell of a big step in the right direction for Mors Principium Est. But don’t just take my word for it, go and grab the album and let yourself be blown away!