Mors Principium Est - _...And Death Said Live_
(AFM Records, 2012)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (8 out of 10)
Now here's a very interesting find. I've been aware of the existence of Mors Principium Est in the melodic death metal scene for a few years, but somehow I never took the time to give them a listen. They released their fourth studio album _...And Death Said Live_ in December of 2012 and I decided to check it out, and I'm really glad I did. I'm also ashamed of myself a little bit for not directing my attention before towards this talented bunch from the west of Finland. Looking back on the melodic death albums released throughout 2012, I would have easily given Be'lakor's _Of Breath and Bone_ the title, but now there's a strong contender in _...And Death Said Live_.

This album comes five years after its predecessor and some turbulence in the band's line-up. But given how it came out, I think Mors Principium Est made some good decisions. The record is perfectly timed at forty-six minutes and boasts a crisp production job that makes all the instruments and the vocals sound as large as they need to be. The drummer's dexterity in using his various cymbals shines through very clearly and the rhythm riffs are never too far behind a guitar solo. The deep growls and the high pitched vocals are utilized very effectively and add a lot of brutality to the mix. But don't go off thinking about that elusive balance of melodic and brutal death metal, because that's not what this is about.

Straightforward melodic death is the mantra on _...And Death Said Live_. The blueprint of the textbook melodic riff can be traced on many occasions. After a brief intro, "Departure" and "I Will Return" explode with some riffing that will get all the heads banging, while boasting a couple of impressive guitar solos to boot. The melodic triplets on "What the Future Holds?" make up one of the album's most memorable riffs while the more vicious side of the band's influences comes through on "Ascension" and "Destroyer of All".

The whole album really comes together to deliver an accurately measured melodic death metal assault from the cold flat north. No fuss, no pretentiousness and no messing around. This is like a good piece of steak done right and served alone. Lesson learnt: never cast the Finns aside.


(article published 2/3/2013)

2/20/2007 K Sarampalis 8.5 Mors Principium Est - Liberation = Termination
9/19/2005 P Azevedo 8 Mors Principium Est - The Unborn
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