Label : AFM Records
Release Date : January 15th, 2013
When over five years go by between releases by a well-known artist, one can almost guarantee that the new offering will be something truly special. Finnish melodic death metal veterans Mors Principium Est did not disappoint the masses of hungry fans awaiting the follow-up to 2007’s Liberation=Termination. With the new record, …And Death Said Live being one of the most anticipated albums of 2013, Mors Principium Est have arguably outdone themselves with their fourth studio offering.
Mors Principium Est is a band that has been through the trials and tribulations of rising up in the scene. They’ve been through the member changes, squabbles, and other riff raff that is part of the growing process. Yet the band has continually risen above and beyond what they’ve done before. It is no secret that the reason behind the long period between albums was the result of personnel changes that almost led to disbanding. However, the new lineup has come back stronger than ever. Musicianship is provided by vocalist Ville Viljanen, drummer Mikko Sipola, bassist Teemu Heinola , and newcomer axe-slingers Andy Gillion and Andhe Chandler, who were selected from a grueling audition process of more than 200 applicants. The album was recorded and produced in the Swedish Panic Room Studios, giving it the essence of that well-known Gothenburg sound so many of us fans know and love. Also featured are guest vocals by Ryan Knight of Black Dahlia Murder and Jona Weinhofen of Bring Me the Horizon.
…And Death Said Live starts out appropriately enough with The “Awakening”, which is an atmospheric synth driven introduction that is less than a minute long, and just enough to get your auditory palette cleansed and ready to go for what is to follow. Wasting no time skyrocketing off into orchestral glory is the second track on the album, “Departure”. We get to hear Viljanen’s versatile vocal skill on top of getting to check out the chops of the new guitarists overlaying continuous floating synth padding toward the rear of the mix.
Just as quickly as the band makes their departure, they remind us that “I Will Return” – another galloping number that follows the same formula as the preceding track. In some way this track is almost like a triumphant raise of the band’s flag, a reminder that they’ve been close to going away forever, and now have returned.
Another face breaking number on the album is “Birth of the Starchild” – which is not surprising at all considering this song is where Ryan Knight of Black Dahlia Murder makes his appearance in a vocal duel with Viljanen behind the microphone. The keyboards make their shining moments of fame during this song, and are well backed up by the master shreddery of the guitarists.
The highlight of …And Death Said Live comes in the form of a beautiful haunting piece that is the title track of the album. Instrumental, but speaking volumes, the song manages to remind you of the concept behind the title – that “having Death on your side means the end can wait..especially if he’s the beginning and driving force behind it all.” If those words don’t lull, inspire, and give one a sense of hope, then this song definitely will.
Mors Principium Est have once again managed to defy comparison, even though that has been tried again and again. Bands like Children of Bodom, Dark Tranquility, and In Flames have had their likes compared to the sounds on …And Death Said Live … but I digress. You will need to listen for yourself and come to your own conclusions. Either way this album is an essential on the lists of fans of melodic death, death metal, and symphonic metal alike.