Mors Principium Est - ...and Death said live (AFM Records)

Blindingly beautiful guitar work set against the intense screaming vocals of Ville Viljanen.
Release Date: 
14 Dec 2012 (All day)

...and Death said live is not just a title, but a pronouncement from Mors Principium Est as they release their first album in five years. Every song on this album is carefully crafted in the style of the Gothenburg Metal Scene, delivering the right amount of melodic death riffs punctuated with spine-hitting drums and the screaming vocals of Ville Viljanen.


Flowing from one song to another ...and Death said live wraps you up in the comfort of a familiar genre, more melodic than extreme, with addictively harmonic layers of guitars. The subtle interplay of the guitars, and the  good keyboard work, accent the beautiful production on this album. After an international search for new guitarists, Mors Principium Est have set out to reaffirm themselves as masters of their genre. Andy Gillion and Andhe Chandler fill ...and Death said live with technically beautiful, fast and melodic guitar work, fitting the groove of the existing line-up like missing pieces of a deadly puzzle. Also featured on this album are guest appearances by Australia's Jona Weinhofen (Bring Me The Horizon, I Killed the Prom Queen) and by Ryan Knight (The Black Dahlia Murder).


Filtering in like a corrupted audio relic, orchestral and choral tones slowly rise up accented by a church organ as the album steps from The Awakening into Departure. Departure bursts forth through the organ sounds, silky melodic riffs drilling down over the sharp drums. Breaking in at mid-pace, I Will Return hints at the strong melody which draws the thematic strings of this song tightly together before the fist-pumping chorus, which the band will find screamed back at them at concerts by loyal fans.


Hard and heavy, Birth of the Starchild teeters on the edge of extreme metal before sliding into a ballad-like mood, then hauls itself effortlessly up to launch from the stage back over the heads of the moshpit. Seamlessly ...and Death said live transitions into the subjugating Bringer of Light. Of all the songs on the album, this one carries the chorus that spun itself on the record of my memory long after I had stopped listening.


The title track ...and Death said live is a slower-paced interlude with delicately fast guitars gliding through it, providing a momentary break before the deceptively beautiful piano introduction to Destroyer of All. Upon the cusp of hesitation at the end of this piano section, Mors Principium Est hurls you back into the melodic spine-crunching balance that defines this album. The Meadows of Asphodel balances the intense vocals of Viljanen against yet more blindingly beautiful guitar work and complimentary keyboards. A classical metal styled guitar solo stitches its way through the last half of the song, before binding back you into the complex layers.


Mors Principium Est may sit comfortably within the sound of the Gothenburg Metal Scene, but they bring their own definitive edge to the music so that they are not mere clones. One listen to ...and Death said live declares a band of talented musicians and a sadly underrated powerhouse of their genre.