Mors Principium Est

Inhumanity

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The men behind Mors Principium Est tread that nebulous ground between death metal and black metal: a not atypical phenomenon in their native Finland. Here, the masterful Swedish examples of the former, and the equally matchless Norwegian counterparts of the latter seem to have found unexpected common ground after all these years of rivalry. Incredibly accomplished for a debut release, Inhumanity finds this technically proficient sextet surrounding death metal's razor sharp riffs and high-pitched guitar harmonies with the screeched vocal delivery and blast-beat drumming velocity of black metal. Think Dark Tranquility or At the Gates locking arms (or butting heads, as it were) with Rotting Christ or Marduk and you'll get the picture. But even more astounding than their instrumental skill is the young group's amazingly mature songwriting chops, which produce instantly distinctive highlights like "Another Creation," the title track, and "The Lust Called Knowledge." It's quite impossible to find a single weak link here (ok, maybe the rather ho-hum instrumental "Oblivion"); just standout after standout. Among the best, the pulverizing force of "Eternity's Child" reveals an unabashed (and surprisingly refreshing) love of solo guitar shredding, while the positively decapitating intensity of "I.D.B." delivers the climax to what surely qualifies as one of the year's best extreme metal debuts.

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