Mors Principium Est
Embers of a Dying World
Reviewed By Simon Milburn
Melodic death metal, or melo-death, is just another genre that is rather saturated these days. Sure there were the pioneers that would always be just that bit ahead of the pack as numbers within the genre would increase rapidly. But just behind those guys were the next generation including some that really had as much right to be at the pointy end of the field as the originators. In my humble of opinion, one of those bands is Mors Principium Est.
Forming in 1999, several years after the likes of At The Gates, Dark Tranquillity and Carcass originated and developed the style, the band has undergone a number of line-up changes over the years that would almost rival Megadeth. Well, maybe not quite, but you get my point. The Finnish based group have had a somewhat irregular release pattern since their debut album Inhumanity was released in 2003. The lengthy hiatus mid career saw the band almost implode. Thankfully since that time around 2007, the band have gone from strength to strength, slowing but surely gathering momentum and more fans along the way.
It was an air of anticipation that the group’s sixth album appeared in my inbox. In all honesty, I was hoping to spend more time with this album before getting to see them for the first time on this year’s 70000 Tons of Metal cruise. I had hoped that I’d also have the review done by now. Alas neither was to be the case, as I incorrectly thought the album was out mid March. It is time for some catch-up, indeed.
What’s immediately striking about Embers of a Dying World is the incredibly dynamic instrumental opener titled “Genesis”. It has all the urgency of a chase scene from some Hollywood blockbuster and it truly sits as the perfect intro piece for not only the band’s sixth album, but whenever the group are about to take to the stage to unleash hell on their fans. The build up is supercharged and thankfully the album’s first real track, “Reclaim the Sun”, launches immediately and maintains the incredible tension from the intro piece. In fact, I think it’s reasonable to say that “Reclaim the Sun” is one of the best or perhaps even the best song that Mors Principium Est has ever delivered. Sure that’s a big call but everything about it is memorable and it ticks all the right boxes with ease. It is absolutely stunning and sets a very high bar for the remainder of the album.
The album quickly progresses and absolutely lays everything to wake in its path. I think it’s difficult these days to produce anything that stands out head and shoulders above the genre crowd but for Mors Principium Est, they seemed to have all their ducks lined up and the end result is stellar. They have spent many years refining their craft and Embers of a Dying World continues the trend of each album taking it to the next level over its predecessor. The “bonus” track titled “The Drowning” is oddly placed smack bang in the middle of things and has a undoubtedly Dark Tranquillity feeling. It’s not a bad track per se, but feels a little almost out of place half way through proceedings. The ballad-esque “Death is Just the Beginning” relies heavily on the addition of female vocals and it works perfectly. Riff after riff, keyboard run after keyboard run, brutal vocals and tasteful drumming, Embers of a Dying World manages to put it all together in a best possible way.
At just over 50 minutes, this album is pushing the boundaries of any listener’s attention span these days. But when the songs themselves are as solid as the eleven contained within, it’s easy listening and then some. Without doubt, Embers of a Dying World is top shelf melodic death metal. In a genre that is well and truly matured by this point, and also quite saturated as well, this is an album that must bring Mors Principium Est to the attention of the masses on a grander scale. This album is absolutely essential listening for anyone with even the tiniest interest in melodic death metal and I for one will not be surprised to see this appear in more than a few Top 10 lists for 2017. Stunning!
More from Mors Principium Est
- Liberation = Termination [review]