Melodic death metal hasn’t been one of my favorite genres over the years. I renounced most Gothenburg style melodic death long ago, while still finding pleasure in Skyfire and Dark Tranquillity. Some Finnish style melodic death metal sneaks in as well, as long as it has enough doom metal in there. I have no previous experience with Mors Principium Est, but “Embers of a Dying World” certainly surprised me.


Similar to Insomnium and Be’lakor

There’s a triumphant feeling in their sound similar to Insomnium and Be’lakor, and the vocals are similar styled mid-ranged rasps. There are symphonic electronics on top that highlight the guitar parts. The focus is often on the melodic lead guitars. In many ways, these three bands are very similar. They’re also similar in the way that they’re highly musical, but lack the edge to truly be great bands.

Much of this makes it sound like Mors Principium Est play something fairly standard, but I find that there’s something more to find here than the sum of the individual parts. Since I don’t give this genre much playlist time, it does require more from a band to give it attention. I think the band somehow gets halfway there.

The downside of this album is still that it’s essentially by the book melodic death metal, no matter how much the sum eclipses its parts. It doesn’t really have the extra edge, either in aggression or melancholy, to become great. It’s just very pleasant, perhaps befitting a tour to the gym rather than focused listening.

“Embers of a Dying World” standouts

A song where it truly goes into more affecting territory is “Death is the Beginning”. The song features female vocals combined with the typical Mors Principium Est sounds, and it certainly gives that extra edge. It’s got way more raw emotion than the other songs, something that is always very welcome.

“The Ghost” is another hit, sporting melodic leads similar to the best songs from Omnium Gatherum. The underlying rhythm guitars are also heavier in this one, creating an instrumental interplay similar to Skyfire’s excellent “Spectral” record. It’s a really pumping tune that brings out the best in melodic death metal.

The musicianship and production is top notch. Everything is played impeccably, and the sound brings out the sharp lead guitars when they’re utilized. Fans of the genre will love this, and I find to be a solid metal album. Considering the crowded competition and my track record with the genre, Mors Principium Est should feel flattered I enjoy “Embers of a Dying World” as much as I do.

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