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Mors Subita – Extinction Era

Mors Subita
Extinction Era
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 07 December 2020, 6:46 AM

MORS SUBITA is a Finnish metal band formed in 1999.  “Extinction Era,” is their fourth full length album; they have also released two demos and two EP’s. This is the first MORS SUBITA album I have heard and, unfortunately, I am not impressed.  There isn’t any denying the talent of the five individuals that make up the band but it seems there was something lost in translation when coming together as a whole.

Extinction Era,” is an album that just doesn’t move me.  I drive a lot so the bulk of my music listening happens in my car, which is a prime location for the mind to wander.  When listening to this album, I just couldn’t focus on it.  I had to switch to something else several times and go back to “Extinction Era,” before I fell asleep at the wheel and died. My biggest issue with the album is the production.  It is just too perfect.  It is so loud, so clear, so crisp and clean that it has removed all emotion from it; this album comes off as very cold and sterile.  It doesn’t help that the approach for clarity within the sound also totally wiped out the low end—the bass doesn’t stand out at all when the other instruments are playing. I mean, I can hear it just fine but..it just doesn’t have any power behind it.

The vocals are middle of the road too, for the most part.  Eemeli has some power behind his performance but it sounds like basic modern metal screaming—not a growl but not a scream, somewhere in the middle which seems to be a way to describe every element on this album. The guitars, which are often brazen with speed and fury, are layered with that modern, down tuned approach that is halfway between hardcore and dissonant.  I’ve heard it before and in much more interesting ways.   The biggest problem with the guitar is that all the riffs sound similar and there isn’t any real differentiation to me among the songs.

The opening track, “Sick,” is a great (or bad) example of what I’m talking about.  The guitars just kind of exist and drone on…and make the song feel far longer than its four and a half minute run time. I did like Eemeli’s high pitched screams, which are much more effective than his regular approach. “Strain,” is much in the same vein…just uninteresting riffs and drums that bog the whole song down.  It doesn’t help that it is just over six minutes in length and doesn’t go anywhere—way too long of a song for their style. I did like the subtle use of keyboards in it though….perhaps the band will explore that avenue in the future to offset the riffs.

There are issues with the album’s pacing too after the halfway point. “Farewell,” is a short little piece of music that is nothing more than an interlude that stops the album’s flow.  A few songs later, another piece of filler shows up with the super short song “Disconnected.”  It feels out of place considering none of the other songs on the album are this rage focused and to the point. In a twist of fate, the full length song that is sandwiched between these two is the best track on the album.  This song, “Disconnected,” has decent guitar melodies and the use of clean chords adds in some much needed dimensions. The solo is pretty damn good too and the whole band seems to be on fire. If there were more songs like this, my review would be giving much higher praise.

As I always do when reviewing bands I am unfamiliar with, I did my research on MORS SUBITA.  The general consensuses is they are a melodic death metal band but I’m not really hearing much of a reason they should be called that.  Ultimately genre labels are pointless and not any band’s problem but being labeled such puts them into a problem situation.  DARK TRANQUILLITY, COUNTLESS SKIES, HEAVEN SHALL BURN, BURIED REALM, and several other bands have released solid to masterful pieces of melodic death this year and this album just cannot compare to what has come before it.

I am a firm believer that bands don’t purposely make bad or average albums.  As such, it kills me when I have to give an average (or worse) review but I also much be honest.  All in all, this album isn’t terrible but it just doesn’t stand out enough in a very crowded 2020.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Sick
2. The Enemy I Know
3. Strain
4. Overthrown
5. Parasites
6. Farewell
7. Into Eternity
8. Disconnect
9. The Oceans Will Know My Name
10. Black and White
11. Coming Home
Lineup:
Mika Lammassaari - Guitars
Mika Junttila - Bass
Ville Miinala - Drums
Eemeli Bodde - Vocals
Juho Näppä - Guitars
Record Label: Out of Line Records
     


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