The first two albums of Finnish Melodic Death Metallers MORS PRINCIPIUM EST had been very well received throughout the Metal community, so I was eagerly looking forward to what the guys would come up with on their third strike “Liberation=Termination”, their last album for their discoverers Listenable Records, would it be a worthy follow-up to “The Unborn” or just a release to fulfill the contract?
Well, it is safe to say that it has not turned out to be the latter and they try to take a wider approach to the genre than ever, which becomes very clear on some songs such as “The Animal Within”, which will probably split their fanbase into acceptance and damnation. But not only in terms of label this album has turned out to be a watershed album, because main song writer and guitarist Jori Haukio decided to leave the band after this album to explore different musical avenues, so rocky times for the Finns these days… But let’s concentrate on the album at hand and here the band showcases all the trademarks they have been known for so far: fast, thrashy riffs, tight rhythm section, great melodies, head-spinning solos, an epic feeling and just enough breaks to make the whole thing truly entertaining. On the other hand also introduced a bit more chugging riffing here and there, making them sound a bit more up-to-date here and there.
Compared to the previous effort they have taken out some of the progressiveness in favour of some more epic melodies, which works well, as they manage to keep the level of heaviness pretty high. After the pretty useless intro “Orsus” “The Oppressed Will Rise” is delivering a melodic high-speed attack in best tradition of their first two albums, with a lot of power and melody, I like it! And then another intro that most people will damn, as the first seconds of “The Animal Within” are of a technoid Dancefloor appearance that seems highly out-of-place on an energetic album such as this one, including some female vocals, but as soon as the double-bass and heavy guitars set in this song is taking control of the listener and shows a slightly different side of the band, but no less interesting.
“Forgotten” is a welcome breather in the intensity and furiousness all around, with a slower rhythm and a more reflective guitarwork, which puts more emphasis on feeling and melody than dazzling note-rodeo, which resumes right after in the riff thunderstorm titled “Sinners Defeat”, where MORS PRINCIPIUM EST will continue to pummel your senses. A true surprise, though, is closing instrumental “Lost Beyond Retrieval”, which explores a few slightly different, calmer avenues in the band sound, giving you a chance to calm down and take in the emotions conveyed by the guitars, setting a quite interesting contrast to the often unrelenting attack on your ears.
It is impossible to say, where the road will lead MORS PRINCIPIUM EST in more way than one, but “Liberation=Termination” definitely is a worthy continuation of the band’s works so far and if you like your Death Metal melodic and here and there a bit more modern, these Finns are one station you should call at.
(Online March 30, 2007)