Mors Principium Est - _The Unborn_
(Listenable Records, 2005)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
Mors Principium Est ("death is the beginning") from Finland can be counted among the finest purveyors of technical, melodic death metal currently active. Make no mistake, however; if you have any great qualms about originality, and especially if you know a lot of melodic death metal already, then maybe you should look elsewhere. _The Unborn_ is a high quality album, but you can compare so many sections of it to so many different bands that it boggles the mind.

Never having heard the band's debut _Inhumanity_, I shall not comment on their evolution. However, it is evident throughout _The Unborn_ that these guys are no rookies: their level of technical skill and ambitious songwriting leaves no room for doubt. Their work is memorable and engaging, and it is executed with considerable flair and zest. It is also varied, both in terms of their mixing of guitar riffs and solos and their occasional use of female vocals and futuristic, progressive keyboards. Mors Principium Est are quite clearly above average, and _The Unborn_ is among the best examples of its genre I've heard in quite a while.

For all its qualities however, it is undeniable that _The Unborn_ can come across as being strongly reminiscent of other bands -- present day Dark Tranquillity above all, with even the vocalist sounding like Mikael Stanne's long lost brother at times. However, this isn't to say the album is wholly derivative or devoid of distinctive passages; furthermore, MPE's music is dynamic enough to avoid stagnation, which prevents the album as a whole sounding extremely close to any specific band. You could name Dark Tranquillity, Soilwork, Omnium Gatherum and a whole bunch more on different occasions, but while many passages aren't distinctive on their own, they do contribute to a damn impressive overall result.

Ultimately it all hinges on what I wrote early on in this review. If you just want music you can enjoy, or are not as well versed in melodic death metal as you would like to be, then you should definitely pick this up -- it is a talented and highly accomplished example of the genre. Others may find it a considerably less mandatory purchase when they contemplate their record collection, but even those are advised to give _The Unborn_ a try.


(article published 19/9/2005)

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