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Mors Principium Est – Embers of a Dying World

Mors Principium Est
Embers of a Dying World
by Erika Kuenstler at 08 February 2017, 10:25 PM

The year has barely even begun, and we're already off to a kick-ass start, thanks to MORS PRINCIPIUM EST's sixth full-length album “Embers of a Dying World”, set for release on 10th February (25th January if you're in Japan). With the transformative addition of Andy Gillion in 2011, a new course was plotted for the band. “Embers of a Dying World” sees the use of a similar songwriting structure  to that found on 2014's “Dawn of the 5th Era”, albeit with a change in the dynamics brought in by the guitar-work, due to the departure of second guitarist, Kevin Verlay.

“Genesis” starts of with a majestic intro that sounds almost like the soundtrack to some epic fantasy movie. This slips straight into “Reclaim the Sun”, previously released as a single, which certainly did much to get fans amped for the upcoming release, and rightly so. “Embers of a Dying World” is a veritable larger-than-life opus. Just reading the tracklisting already seems to tell a story all the way from the beginning of life, to death and beyond. “Masquerade” sees MORS PRINCIPIUM EST show off their technical skills. Staccato bursts of guitars form the backbone upon which the rest of the song is built around, with guitar solos and orchestrations taking it in turns to flesh out the song, whilst the vocals provide the main impetus which holds all else together. This formula has been carried over to “Into the Dark”, with added tempo variations and increased use of keyboards being the main difference between this and it's predecessor. In contrast to this “The Drowning” is a slower-paced song with a darker undercurrent. This air of melancholy is further explored in “Death is the Beginning”, with keening female vocals adding to the gentle orchestrations, conjuring up images of ethereal soundscapes. “The Ghost” uses haunting keyboard sections to gradually build up the speed of the album. In contrast to this, “In Torment” sees a fast-paced swirling maelstrom of melody relentlessly batter away at you. With such a headbangable rhythm, I can only imagine how fantastic this song would be live. Unsurprisingly, the instrumental interlude “Agnus Dei” starts off with a celestial melody that comes floating in on velveteen wings, with beautiful guitar-work used to enhance this further. And before you know it, we’ve already reached the penultimate song “The Colours of the Cosmos”, which sees the album return to a similar pace as the beginning of the album. Closer “Apprentice of Death” ends the album with a powerful mid-paced song with twisting guitar-riffs, and leaves you sated after the magical journey on which “Embers of a Dying World” takes you.

Overall, “Embers of a Dying World” seems to tell a story, not only through the names of the songs, but also through the emotions that each song conveys. This natural progression through the music helps take the listener on a path, from a beginning so full of life, through the more remorseful mid-section, to the increasingly confident final section. However, one of my gripes with this album is that the tempo is kept pretty constant throughout, which give the album somewhat of a monotonous feel. To compound this further, apart from the melancholy of “Death is the Beginning”, there are few moments that really stand out on their own. Ville's vocals are as excellent as always, albeit perhaps somewhat limited in range, although this is alleviated by the interplay of the bass and the drum, which clearly reflects the years Teemu and Mikko have spent working together. The harshness of the more brutal sections has been masterfully tempered through the use of softer elements, such as female vocals, violin sections, and keyboard parts, which has helped to round off the album. Definitely a release worth checking out, especially for fans of MORS PRINCIPIUM EST.

Originality: 7
Songwriting: 8
Production: 8
Memorability: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Genesis
2. Reclaim the Sun
3. Masquerade
4. Into the Dark
5. The Drowning
6. Death Is the Beginning
7. The Ghost
8. In Torment
9. Agnus Dei
10. The Colours of the Cosmos
11. Apprentice of Death
Lineup:
Ville Viljanen - Vocals
Mikko Sipola - Drums
Teemu Heinola - Bass
Andy Gillion - Guitars
Record Label: AFM Records
     


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