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There are several melodic death metal bands out there that all offer the same package: harsh vocals, keyboards, and insane guitar work. The sad thing is, alot of these bands end up sounding like generic clones of each other (ie; Norther and Children Of Bodom, although I do like those bands) and virtually rehash the same formula with different riffs...almost like offering the same tequila every time, but putting it in different glasses and having a different fruit placed on the tooth pick. This is not the case for Mors Principium Est. Unlike most bands from the melodeath genre, MPE knows how to take a concept and rework it into an albums worth of material, and even then, they use different concepts for different songs.
The song-writing on the band's 2005 release "The Unborn" is pure genius. There are a variety of song structures to be heard here, ranging from verse-verse-chrous-chorus to all sorts of outrageous placements of song sections, leaving the listener with something new on every song, never recycling the same idea twice. Another great feature is the instrument section, especially in the guitar department. Jarrko and Jori lay down stunning riffs and solos that would make Rusty Cooley scratch his head in disbelief. And speaking of the solos, they are some of the fastest solos I've heard in my entire life, but the speed isn't the only thing that makes the guitarwork so impressive. While they are faster than the latest Ferrari sports car, they always invoke some sort of feeling and are used with great regard for phrasing and dynamics, so you're not listening to arrogant show-off licks for the duration of the album.
Aside from guitars, the keyboards are uniquely pulled off in a way that boosts the atmosphere, as opposed to the stereotypical "Christmas keyboards" heard in songs by some melodeath bands. The drums are also memorable, and are far more aggressive, catchy and technical than on MPE's previous album, "Inhumanity". The vocals are also done well on this ablum, with vocalist Ville Viljanen providing a unique tone and technique that, again, does not sound like any old melodeath song.
So now let's talk about the songs. All of them are excellent in my opinion, and if they weren't, I wouldn't give this an album anything close to the score I'm giving it now. As stated above, none of the songs sound the same and/or use the same structures, so they can easily be told apart from one another.
"Pure" is the intro track, which includes a female vocal part in the intro, as well as boasting catchy riffs and choruses. "Pure" leads into the epic (and my personal favorite) "The Harmony Remains", which is much faster and more atmospheric than the last track. It also has quite possibly the fastest (and most atmospheric) guitar solo in melodeath history. "Parasites of Paradise" is one of the heavier songs on the album, and the first on the album to use blast beats. Like just about every song on this album, it boasts a fast solo that is done properly to avoid a wankfest. "Two Steps Away" is slower and even more atmospheric, with a nice keyboard line to keep the atmosphere at utmost perfection. "Altered State of Consciousness", which is aptly timed at 4 minutes and 20 seconds, is another heavy song on this album, and includes an insane intro solo. This song also has a breakdown at about three-fourths into the song, but it's not one of the breakdowns you hear in crappy Bring Me The Horizon songs. "Spirit Conception" is just a transition track that leads into the album's title track, "The Unborn", which only has one chorus but is a heavy, fast and atmospheric song, as MPE is known to produce. "Fragile Flesh" is probably the fastest song on the album, utilizing some more incredibly fast fretboard wizardry and--again--blast beats. This song also has a very melodic chorus, so it's got a little piece of everything thrown into it. "Pressure" is another slow title off of this album, which also utilizes a breakdown section--which again, is not one of those "hardcore on the dance floor" pit-ninja breakdowns that have plagued the name of this song-section. If you got the normal version, your CD closed with "The Glass Womb", which is a very atmospheric instrumental that uses female vocals in the background, and it reminds me of something you'd hear on the soundtrack of a 1990s anime movie. If you got the digipak, your CD ended with the fast and melodic "No More"--which is a short song meant toplease those who want a quick listen--and the cover of Megadeth's "Blood Of Heroes", which some did not like, but I personally did not mind it at all.
If you want a Children Of Bodom record, you're not gonna find it here. But if you want an excellently produced piece of melodic death metal gold, buy the entire discography of Mors Principium Est, but particularly this album. "The Unborn" offers the listener something different from the melodath genre, wrapping up atmosphere, melody, heaviness, and insane guitar solos into a nice package with a nice and poofy bowtie on top. I would reccomend this album to anyone who likes anything that remotely resembles music. Buy or die.