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Mors Principium Est - Seven review


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Band: Mors Principium Est
Album: Seven
Release date: October 2020

01. A Day For Redemption
02. Lost In A Starless Aeon
03. In Frozen Fields
04. March To War
05. Rebirth
06. Reverence
07. Master Of The Dead
08. The Everlong Night
09. At The Shores Of Silver Sand
10. My Home, My Grave

Mors Principium Est are one of the most reliable bands in melodeath, and Seven has no plans of changing that reputation.

In contrast to their compatriots in Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum, Mors Principium Est veer away from the melancholic melodeath sound associated with Finland and instead take a somewhat more Gothenburg-rooted approach, albeit with increased technicality and a more symphonic approach from the keyboards compared with the likes of Dark Tranquillity; there's certainly a hint of the extreme power sound of Kalmah or Children Of Bodom somewhere in there (although the Dark Tranquillity is strong on "The Everlong Night" here). Whilst they've not quite developed the followings that the biggest Gothenburg or Finnish melodeath groups have accumulated, each new record has been hotly anticipated and well-received, meaning that the group enter their seventh record, helpfully titled Seven, with a lot of momentum behind them.

The formula here is very much the same as on the previous couple of records, although the dalliances with more Gothic territory that popped up on previous record Embers Of A Dying World have not been carried over onto Seven. The album is for the most part (the interlude "Reverence" being the only notable exception) one up-tempo melodeath celebration of riffs and hooky guitar licks after another; the band elect not to begin with a standalone short introductory symphonic track this time around, instead packaging said dramatic intro into "A Day For Redemption" alongside the very classic-sounding melodeath song that follows. The emphatic, ear-catching guitar leads, energetic and technically minded riffs and symphonic interjections; everything you would expect from the opening track of a Mors Principium Est is here and ready to feed hungry fans. "Lost In A Starless Aeon" carries on much the same, the verses peppered with exciting harmonized guitar arpeggios and the chorus instantly memorable.

"Lost In A Starless Aeon" is an early highlight, but it's not the only quality track here. Most of my other top picks lurk towards the end of the album. "Master Of The Dead" has some solid riffs and effective use of synths, as well as probably the most memorable solo on the record, although the sweeps on "At The Shores Of Silver Sand" may rival it for that title. Probably the most consistently attention-grabbing song for me, however, was closer "My Home, My Grave"; the chorus on this song is the only one outside of that in "Lost In A Starless Aeon" that stuck with me each time the album, a perfect combination Finnish melodeath guitar leads, suspenseful chords and ripping vocals. It was the one track that I've found myself getting excited over as soon as it started each time I've run through Seven, and it makes for a pretty epic conclusion to the record.

So, Seven offers more of the classic Mors Principium Est sound, and does it well. However, I'm not sure it's the best rendition of it; having revisited their previous two records in between replays of this, I find the tracks on Dawn Of The 5th Era and Embers Of A Dying World more consistently memorable than those on Seven. I feel like including some of the diversity that those Gothic tangents on their last record offered would have helped with that, as without something like that, a lot of tracks here do blend together, despite little flourishes such as the big symphonic opening to "March To War" that offer brief changes in pace; each song in isolation sounds good and enjoyable, but together in a row, it feels like hearing the same guitar leads and riffs slightly reworked on a song-to-song basis, particularly due to the frantic, technical nature of the riffs.

I can see this being considered slightly nitpicky; plenty of bands in melodeath and death metal fill their records with songs all in the same style, and if it's a band with as strong a sound as Mors Principium Est putting out a bunch of new songs all in their signature style, it's hard to see big fans of the group complaining. However, as someone with a passing rather than vested interest in Mors Principium Est, the combination of the lack of variety and the lack of especially memorable hooks (fast melodic riffs such as those found in abundance here sound very cool, but it's hard to remember one when you're barraged with dozens that sound very similar) does mean that on the times that I wish to revisit the group, Seven isn't likely to be the album I feel most strongly inclined to put on. Nevertheless, for those that just want to hear Mors Principium Est be Mors Principium Est, I would be surprised if Seven does not scratch that itch in a highly satisfying manner.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 9

Written on 25.10.2020 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments: 12   Visited by: 168 users
25.10.2020 - 03:37
SoUnDs LiKe PoP

The last two paragraphs hit the nail on the head.

"fast melodic riffs such as those found in abundance here sound very cool, but it's hard to remember one when you're barraged with dozens that sound very similar."

Exactly my thought. These songs work very well taken in small doses, but listening from front to back this album sounds a bit too similar to 99% of other melodeath bands.

I'm being picky here because I expect a lot from MPE, and after three very solid singles, I felt a bit underwhelmed by the rest of the album. STILL, however... this is a very good album, I was just hoping for great.
I lift weights and listen to metal
25.10.2020 - 06:44

Written by SoUnDs LiKe PoP on 25.10.2020 at 03:37

I'm being picky here because I expect a lot from MPE, and after three very solid singles, I felt a bit underwhelmed by the rest of the album. STILL, however... this is a very good album, I was just hoping for great.

Maybe this is Andy's limit,or this is melodeath's limit.
It is well known that melodeath had reached the limit long long ago.
25.10.2020 - 07:22

No one would be bitching even a slight bit had their previous three albums in a row not been absolutely legendary.
25.10.2020 - 11:20
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I wish there was less Göteborg, more melo dead old school in this and gatherum
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
25.10.2020 - 18:14
Ag Fox
Angel No More
I am taking this review with a pinch of salt because the only MPE album I've ever enjoyed was The Unborn

The Unborn is actually one of my all time favourites of the genre, but the rest are just kinda forgettable to my ears for some reason
loves 小巫
26.10.2020 - 16:07

MPE is my favorite melodeath band right now and has been for at least 4-5 years. Dawn of the 5th Era is probably my favorite MPE album and I agree they have so many epic albums its hard to top them. This is a great album IMO for the genre, but for MPE its just very good. I also agree that some of the songs are similar but I think there is enough variation in the album that I didn't find myself bored listening to it front to back. I've only given it one listen so that may change. My Home, My Grave was my favorite on this one as of now.
27.10.2020 - 16:33

The repetitive feel of the songs will be a tiny complain from me if at all. Each of the songs are so satisfying to listen to that it meets all the expectations I had from the album. And the closure, My home, My grave. Definitely going out with a bang.
Leeches everywhere.
02.11.2020 - 17:11

MPE have felt repetitive and their memorability has felt fleeting since Andy came on board, if I'm I'm quite honest; which pains me to say because "Inhumanity" sparked my interest in melodeath, and "The Unborn" basically set the precedent for what I wanted all melodeath to sound like, and that continued on into "Liberation = Termination".

I have a deep admirability for Andy's ability, but somewhere along the line the rampant technicality just loses me. I'll be giving this an album a true, objective listen at some point today, but this review and subsequent comments give me the idea that many of my qualms are still present.
10.11.2020 - 02:47

Ok. I've listened to this masterpiece (yep I'm saying that word) from beginning to end no less than 10 times over the past week. Every song has grown on me, especially Rebirth and Master of the Dead, The later might be MPE's crowning jewel in their discography. The composition, the technically, the atmosphere, everything is a 10. IMO Master of the Dead is one of the best melodeath songs I've ever heard and melodeath is one of my favorite genre's. Of course time will be the test if that remark holds true. The truly greatest of the great songs leave some serious impacts in a persons life. Lost in a Starless Aeon has also grown on me far more than I thought it would after first listen. There is so much going on in these songs that the more you listen the more you appreciate and love what you're hearing. Dawn is still my favorite but this is edging closer to the top after every listen.
16.11.2020 - 17:12

Listening to Master of Dead I-dont-know-how-many times. One of the better melodeath track heard in recent times.
In the beginning I was made of clay. Then I bit the apple and they changed me to metal 🤘
11.01.2021 - 23:37

Great stuff, but still wont agree with such a high ranking in 2020 as it shows....
17.01.2021 - 14:47

My Home, My Grave

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