Release DetailsLABEL Listenable
RELEASED ON 4/18/2005
Mors Principium Est
posted on 5/2005 By:
One of the more exciting melodic death albums of 2003 came from an unknown Finnish band called Mors Principium Est. Inhumanity had a definite Finnish sound, with quirky melodies, abundant keyboard use, and a fairly upbeat disposition. If Inhumanity was a beagle, then The Unborn is a pit bull. The band has grown larger and more aggressive over the past two years, and to good results.
The Unborn takes the band in a more Swedish direction: harsher vocals, heavier riffs, and a darker sound. This album complements Dark Tranquillity’s Character album nicely, sounding similar but carrying more rage. Guitarists Jori and Jarkko must’ve spent the past year listening to nothing but Callenish Circle, At the Gates, and Arch Enemy, as their riffs are much more fierce than in the past, and a stellar, scathing tone just enhances everything. The production as a whole is superb, very loud, but the vocals are handled a bit strangely. Ville’s hoarse, Stanne-like (DT) bark is harsher than usual, but subdued in the mix. I suppose it is just as well, as the music gets emphasized as it should, but I can’t help but feel that he should be louder at times. But that’s a minor gripe.
Right from the first note they go for the throat. “Pure” opens with a fiery riff that builds in intensity each time through, then a quick lead which seems to head to an explosive riff…but it doesn’t. They throw a curveball and layer female vocals (the only song to really do so) over an electronic percussion beat, and THEN they hit that explosive riff. Well done. MPE seems to be going for a more futuristic industrial mood with the key/synth use this time around, and it fits the new aggressive style well. Their soloing and leads are still up to par in the more melodic songs, such as “The Harmony Remains” and “Pressure”, which are more in the vein of Inhumanity. “Two Steps Away” really kicks out that Dark Tranquillity vibe, with more synths and total Stanne evocation. The riff and solo starting at 2:45 is classic MPE material. The digipak version of the album comes with another new track and a cover of Megadeth’s “Blood of Heroes”, although Mustaine songs never sound that great with harsh vocals. At certain times the song structures may seem repetitious, but that's standard fare for the genre.
The bottom line is that this is one of the top melodic death releases in a year that is a strong one for the genre. I won’t get into whether or not The Unborn is better than Inhumanity, as they are quite different, but rest assured that this album meets the same standards of quality as the last…it’s just much heavier. I’m hoping that this album will propel them into the upper ranks of the melodic death world, and that they can build off of their first US appearance last month to gain the audience they deserve. Yet another solid album from Finland.
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