Thank god for AT THE GATES and their undying riff collection! Thank god for DARK TRANQUILLITY and their technical approach and first class melodic avalanches! Thank god for FEAR FACTORY’s eradicative rhythmical precision! And finally, thank god for CHILDREN OF BODOM for breaking all the rules concerning the interaction between keyboards and Extreme Metal once and for all. Without these influential bands, MORS PRINCIPIUM EST wouldn’t have sounded so damn good, so precise, so violently animated, in fact, “The Unborn” probably wouldn’t have been “born” at all in the first place.
You’ve heard the buzz about this band being the next influential band in Modern Death Metal, “Inhumanity” did spread the word nicely with mostly raving scores and high hopes for the future albums. The guys have now reached their second opus and here’s the real proof, this is the shit! “The Unborn” amazes and scares me with the fact that a bunch of guys in their early twenties can produce such a sweet album of devastating death/thrash that taps into modern influences far more subtle than any Circus Metal band out there at the moment while also signalling a complete revival in neoclassical guitar heroism, how the f**k do you write stuff like this in two years? I’ll be happy to say it again, but it’s probably due to Finnish youthful dedication and large consummation of various brands of vodkas that we now have another contender for album of the year coming from Europe’s northernmost territory.
So what makes this album tick? Simple, nearly everything. Then there’s the “Character” issue, some people are comparing the two albums and I will be doing that too but only because both sound fresh and not because they sound alike. M.P.E.’s influences are easy to trace and name, it’s not the musical blueprint that’s staggering, it’s the sound, tight song writing and virtuosic musicianship that keeps the songs from wearing out soon, sorta like “Character” which I had demoted only recently. The sound is what really brings everything to life, Daniel Bergstrand couldn’t have done a better job himself, the instruments are loud in the mix but stay locked in an ear damaging Metal setting, growler and apocalyptic lyricist Ville Viljanen almost gets lost in the wider passages adding a sense of urgency to the pace which makes the adrenaline pump faster.
AT THE GATES, the one band they forgot to thank in their thank you lists. Jori Haukio and Jarkko Kokko both know 80% of the riffs on “The Unborn” were created from various listening sessions with “Slaughter Of The Soul” and “Terminal Spirit Disease”, already from the opening seconds of “Pure” the guitars take on the trademark Gothenburg speed and aggression, I bet they sensed the humility right after putting the booklet into print. The two shredders really pack a mean strike, they apply a thrashy foundation on the main riffs, add the colourful melodies later to be topped off by godly solos of another technical attitude, sorry, you just won’t get many solos that are better than the ones we’re treated to here.
Six minute epic “Pressure” is pure tease with many concrete riffing passages and MESHUGGAH like bridges and mathematical soloing, notice how the band even manages to cram a hyperactive mix of KALMAH and DARK TRANQUILLITY into “Fragile Flesh”. So yeah it’s a guitar show but keyboards are used in subtleness all the time, they have their moments too, like in “Spirit-Conception” while sharing the load with haunting guitar leads and ominous clean guitars in the experimental instrumental closer “The Glass Womb”. M.P.E.’s futuristic world of Death Metal transcends sonic termination through more killer cuts like the awesome title track, “Parasites Of Paradise” and “Altered State Of Consciousness”, but also shows constant atmospheric layers of supportive keyboards, drum loops, modern programming sequences and pristine female vocals spicing up the sound just a little more than what we’re used to in the genre.
These guys can go far, I gotta find this unborn dude so that he can tell me where they are practising and writing stuff because this is one of the most exciting bands to come out in a long time. If you like brilliant Modern Death Thrash Metal it’s your sacred duty to get this album, buy or be booed at!!! (Online August 22, 2005)