MPEYou know what you’re going to get with Mors Principium. Exciting melodic deathly thrashing assaults are their byword. They get compared to Children of Bodom, Kalmah, In Flames and At The Gates but a Mors Principium Est riff is something that most devotees could name in one. Adrenaline only happens in rushes with Mors Principium Est

“Dawn of the 5th Era”, unsurprisingly the Finns’ fifth album, has familiar qualities. Pungent and sinister darkness lies underneath the irrepressible riffs which are mostly fast, furious and flamboyant. It’s like standing next to a hammer drill. “God has Fallen” is typically thrusting and of course melodic to the point of invading the brain with its catchiness and probably being a health hazard. But once again I’m a sucker for this complete drama. Bombastically super guitar solos are played at a speed which seems to defy human capabilities but they’re always part of the carefully constructed song structures. From the hypnotic and electric “Leader of the Titans” we progress to the equally forward thrusting and explosive “We Are The Sleep”. The lyrics can be a bit trite – “We are the night’s desire … we are the sleep” – but there’s no denying the juddering energy and thunderously dark rumblings in the instrumentals and vocals. I’m still getting over how fast they play. But it’s not just about guitar theatricals. They’re good songs. “The Journey” bucks the trend and is more measured than most. It reminds me of the band’s more recent work. But the guitar leads us in its kaleidoscopic way and typically the track expands into epic territory. For the most part it’s the template riff of “Monster in Me” and the frenetic meandering path which “Innocence Lost” follows. The fluttering riff has a deep and dangerous core and inevitably builds up an epic edge. There are variations but this album mostly centres on aggression and colourful guitar work. “Wrath of India” sums up for me what is good about a Mors Principium Est track. Flying off without restraint, it has heaviness, pace, melody, catchiness, colour, twists and energy, branching out with its epic chorus line.

If you’ve not heard Mors Principium Est before, I promise something fresh and exciting. For seasoned listeners, I’d say “The Dawn of the 5th Era” doesn’t branch away much from “The Unborn” (2005) and everything else the band has released. It’s ok by me. Once again this album exudes a combination of excitement and a dramatic instrumental atmosphere.

(7.5/10 Andrew Doherty)