Review Summary: Mors Prinicipium Est enter the scene with a better set of influences than the common melodeath band.
Reviewing melodic death albums can become quite a tedious task. For one, there has been a growth and explosion in the genre in the past decade or so that has caused a multitude of bands to spew forth from nearly every part of the world; for two, most of the new bands take elements of metalcore and equal parts In Flames-commercialism to create the majority of their sound and playing style. Excluding the rare exceptions, you basically end up with the same band masquerading around with a thousand different names all at once. Reviewing such albums can quite simply regress into a chore of speculating whether they meet the qualifications of their genre or if there is remotely any difference in the band's sound when compared to that of their peers.
Mors Principium Est is a Finnish band that doesn’t fall into the aforementioned category of copycats. Instead, the band seems to take most of their influences from not one, but all
of the three founding fathers of Gothenburg; what’s more, they thankfully don’t confuse a large dose of metalcore into their sound either. In contrast the band creates their own hybrid sound of sorts, incorporating equal parts talented guitar work, orchestra-stylized keyboards, appropriate drum-fills, and a somewhat strained vocal delivery for a competent outcome. Even from an early point in this band’s career, the technical aspect of the music is quite appealing and well suited for what they try to do with this album.
the songs run a fairly consistent course throughout, though a few songs obviously work better than most. Second track "Eternity’s Child" is one such case, featuring an addictive guitar line and the perfect drum fill to match. The keyboards follow suit in a modest role, never overstating their place or pushing for too much attention. The title track features the album’s best riff, instantly becoming indented into the listener’s mind. The lyrics here--and for the better part of the album-- are quite vague, referring to personal subjects in an abstract manner. The song also features an eye-raising guitar solo from the band’s talented duo, Jori Haukio and Jarkko Kokko. Many such examples of this skill dot the album and showcase the pairs’ talent with the fret board.
"The Lust Called Knowledge" is another of the album’s better tracks, letting the band’s bassist and keyboardist--Teemu Heinola and Toni Nummelin, respectively--show off some of their skill at their instruments. That’s not to say that the guitarists let up here at all; near the end of the track a rippling and swirling solo launches forth, jumping from guitar to guitar before agilely settling on a final chorus.
As is the case with melodic death metal, much of the music to be found on Inhumanity
has a certain melodic aspect to it. However, a lot of Inhumanity’s melodies seem to rely on the actual instruments themselves more so than the vocals. This plays to the band’s advantage in truth; vocalist Ville Viljane seems to need more room to grow into his role as singer and screamer for the band. His delivery is somewhat strained and unconfident, the vocals seemingly fall under the instruments in the mix throughout the course of the album. As a result, there are many instances where the listener will lose track of what is being said or screamed in the album, which is unfortunate as the overall sound suffers from the inconsistency.
Mors Princiupium Est certainly offers up one of the better debuts from a melodic death metal band in recent years. At this point in their career, the band has a few growing pains to work through--an obstacle which is usually expected and with time and touring can be easily overcome. The songs themselves are played quite well, many of the technical aspects of the music leaving little to be desired. The main issue, and the one that ultimately holds the album back for the most part, is the production and mixing problems that form a somewhat muddied mix and poor vocal integration. As previously stated, Ville Viljane needs more experience on the road and maybe even a vocal coach at this point. That being said, Inhumanity
is a promising debut from one of the more original bands to come from the melodic death metal explosion. Ironically, the band obtains this very same originality by merely staying true to the first three Gothenburg bands instead of following the more popular trends. I'm sure we can expect great things from this band in the future.