Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Label: AFM Records
Release date for Japan: December 5th, 2012
Release date for US: January 15th, 2013
Rating: 8/10
Reviewer: Karim Tarek

Coming off from the vast Finnish lands of Melodic Death Metal, Mors Principium Est is a Pori-based quartet that has been out there and blasting since 1999. They have long vowed to take it upon themselves to let the world experience the grandeur of the Finnish Melodeath outcome. Moreover, they have also been part of the third volume of our digital compilation albums.

Their discography has been garnished with three full-length gems; “Inhumanity” in 2003, “The Unborn” in 2005, and “Liberation = Termination” in 2007, and earlier this year they released their fourth full-length album titled “…And Death Said Live”.

A lot of action preceded “…And Death Said Live” in the sense of the band’s two guitarists’ departure. At some point in 2011, the band’s future activity was in question, even the guys themselves made it clear through their official Facebook page that there is high prospect looming of the band discontinuing their journey. However, later on, and to the fans’ best luck, the band gladly announced the joining of the two new guitarist who were entitled to the resuscitation of the band after a highly hectic period, Andy Gillion and Andhe Chandler, whom we have got the chance to interview last year. What is very interesting about such a replacement is that both guitarists are not Finnish; Andy is English and Andhe is from New Zealand, which kind of introduced further challenges to face the band in my opinion.

Anyhow, the band managed to bravely go through all of this and eventually record their fourth album, something that I, personally, think deserves appreciation.  When I first heard about the release of “…And Death Said Live” I had doubts that the band might lose its longtime authentic sound after the multiple lineup changes that took place between “Liberation = Termination” and “…And Death Said Live.” I kind of feared the decay of Mors Principium Est’s peculiar sound that has long been what I love most about their music.

However, “…And Death Said Live” came to reconcile my fears and to strongly prove that the unique sound of Mors Principium Est is far greater than to submit to radical change along with changes in lineup. The album maintained one of the most significant elements that have always made Mors Principium Est’s music distinguished from that of other bands, speed! “…And Death Said Live” continued to possess Mors Principium Est’s fast-paced traditional riffing style, maintaining sly aggression. Moreover it appeared to be highly influenced by the band’s earlier work. It also still possessed the technical touch that, as well, had made the band sound special along the years. The commensurate balance between the monstrously fast drumming and blast beat lines, the aggressive guitar riffs, and the catchy melodies, is a highly impressive factor that has significantly contributed to the album’s extravaganza.

The album however did not come off as melodic and creative as the band’s earlier albums; it missed some of the pure ingenious touches that were present on “The Unborn” and “Liberation = Termination” particularly. The production as well did not seem as pure and crystalline compared to those two albums. Which made it seem to me that “The Unborn” and “Liberation = Termination” will always stand their own grounds alone as the purest of Mors Principium Est’s essences. Furthermore, even though “…And Death Said Live” had a multitude of neat solos, I believe that the band’s 2005 and 2007 efforts comprised some of the greatest, most exquisite solos, in my own humble opinion, of all Melodic Death Metal!

“…And Death Said Live” did not abandon Mors Principium Est’s old innovative approach of sugarcoating their Melodeath output with electronic and orchestral vibes. They have always been taking their music to a whole new level, beyond the ordinary Melodeath that we normally come across, by adding special touches and soundbites that significantly enhance their music and kind of wrap it within a velvet case, so to speak. Particular tracks like “Birth of the Starchild” and “Destroyer of All” precisely exemplify how Mors Principium Est usually strive to break new grounds with their music; piano lines throughout the album rather pushed the music into an aesthetic realm.

All in all, Mors Principium Est went through a huge ordeal in which their two guitarists left, however they managed to strongly get over this and come back with a solid album that has its epic moments and that also presents another gem studded into their publicly praised discography. For me, it does not outmatch their past albums, or at least its precedent, however, it is still a record that is highly eligible of being a starting point to a new phase of the band’s epic journey. 

Highlights: Ascension, What the Future Holds?

Make sure to follow Mors Principium Est on their: Official website, Facebook, Myspace

 Buy "...And Death Said Live" via: Amazon

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