Five years on from their last outing, 2007’s ‘Liberation=Termination’, Finnish-based melodic death metallers Mors Principium Est have returned with their new, international line up – featuring the twin guitar attack of the UK’s Andy Gillion and Andhe Chandler, all the way from New Zealand – and their eagerly anticipated fourth album, ‘…And Death Said Live’.
So, has it been worth it? The answer, quite bluntly, is “yes”, indeed it has… as this is a powerful and impressive offering, crammed with huge, bludgeoning yet melodic riffs, well-crafted songs and excellent performances from the five constituent members (the band is completed by the founding trio of vocalist Ville Viljanen, drummer Mikko Sipola and bassist Teemu Heinola).
With Gillion apparently having taken over songwriting duties, it is perhaps not surprising that there is a more ‘British’ than ‘Nordic’ feel to much of the material, with heavy references to Hell and Sabbat in particular, as well as some classic NWOBHM moments in some of the solos, although Scandinavian influences are also strong, particularly in the interaction between the two guitarists. With the rhythm section of Sipola and Heinola having been together for the best part of more than a decade, it is equally unsurprising that their performances are extremely tight, with the bassist in particular working very closely to both the bass and snares of his counterpart and colleague, while Viljanen’s vocal delivery, while bordering on derivative in places, is powerful and matches the melodic violence of the instrumental performances nigh on perfectly.
Stand out moments include ‘Birth Of The Starchild’ (and I don’t think that’s a tribute to Ace Frehley), the majestic ‘Ascension’, ‘Destroyer Of All’, with its sweeping intro and stunning guitar work, and the towering ‘What The Future Holds’.[8/10]
- The Awakening
- I Will Return
- Birth Of The Starchild
- Bringer Of Light
- …And Death Said Live
- Destroyer Of All
- What The Future Holds
- The Meadows Of Asphodel
- Dead Winds Of Hope
‘…And Death Said Live’ is released on December 14th on AFM Records: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Said-Live-Mors-Principium/dp/B009GWHT4S/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1355315869&sr=1-1