MORS SUBITA‘s “Into the Pitch Black” was one of the first albums I ever reviewed for Tuonela Magazine and blew me away with its mathematical balance between aggression and hooky melodies. While concluding that MORS SUBITA deserved more recognition in the review, 3 years later, it seems like my prayers had been heard by the mothership of German record label Out of Line Music, who offered the band a record deal. The five-piece from Oulu are now ready to release their next studio effort, “Extinction Era,” out on 30 October 2020.
Make no mistake, you might think “Extinction Era” was written as a response to the current global pandemic situation, but the themes discussed on this album are a little closer home. Dealing mostly with topics related to depression and mental health, these track definitely represent the frustration surrounding these tracks, clear in the angry, melancholic, and honest collection of songs.
Starting off with lead single, “Sick,” the heavy rhythmic riff introducing the fury of this track is slightly reminiscent of a very fast rendition of the “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” theme song from the legendary TV series from the nineties. With a bit less focus on melodies and more of djenty feel to it, the track is a logical continuation to where the band left us in 2017 with “Into the Pitch Black.” It’s an extremely aggressive track to start the album with, but it definitely works and sets the right mood for the rest of the record. Continuing with “The Enemy I Know,” the listener immediately gets launched into another high-energy track that definitely leaves no rest for neck muscles.
“The Strain” feels a bit less aggressive than the previous two tracks, but with impressive blast beats, surely no less heavy. Ranging from meticulously fast drumming to march-like beats midway through, drummer Ville Miinala shows off his incredible skill set in this track. “Overthrown” slows down the tempo, with more of a focus on the melodic side of the band and a juicy guitar solo fitting the atmosphere of the song. With a synth intro, “Parasites” breaks the overall tone of the record, but sure enough, a curveball of fast-paced melodic death metal kicks in; while guitar-driven, the synths are subtly present throughout the whole track, adding a little bit more depth to the track in general.
A title like “Farewell” screams ballad and on this record, it’s no different as it serves to an intermezzo and introduction to the ballad, “Into Eternity.” With clean guitars, MORS SUBITA sets a different mood than with the rest of the tracks. After this atmospheric intro, a beautiful melodic guitar section is laid out to introduce the next track, “Into Eternity.” The two blend into one another seamlessly. With a strong INSOMNIUM vibe, the song definitely win over hearts of any melodeath metal lover. Filled with melodic hooks, it’s no big surprise this track was chosen as a single to represent the album.
“Disconnect” is quite something else. Fast, furious, and to the point. The track is probably the most violent track on the album and has somewhat of a PANTERA-feel due to the insane guitar shrieking sounds at the end of the track. Clocking in at 1:49, this track doesn’t feel too short, and due to its intensity is probably one of the highlights of this album, especially considering its placement after the ballad, which makes this track stand out even more due to the stark contrast. After such a groovy intermezzo, we fall right back to the more classic pattern of melodic death metal with “The Oceans Will Know My Name.” While “Black and White” largely follows the same path, closing track “Coming Home” is proof that a track doesn’t necessarily need to be fast to sound heavy as fuck. The rhythmic, heavy riffs add up to the heaviness of the song, which is then contrasted in the chorus, in the end, the track progresses into what is possibly the most melodic and progressive track on the album and definitely the best track to end the album with.
“Extinction Era” is a logical follow up to “Into the Pitch Black,” tapping more into the band’s extremities. Some of these tracks are their heaviest and most aggressive MORS SUBITA songs to date. Altogether, these 11 tracks make for a well-balanced album with a little bit of something for everybody, showcasing a perfect combination of brutality and elegance. Beautiful melodies are contrasted with heavy and furious riffs. The production of the album is well-balanced, with the guitars most prominent in the mix. Altogether, this is the recipe for an album that knows no mercy, showcasing a look into the inner self of lyricist Eemeli Bodde, often radiating both ominous and apocalyptic tracks. In a world where a pandemic has taken over our daily lives, causing sentiments such as stress, anxiety, loneliness, and depression, “Extinction Era” comes as a perfect soundtrack and almost works cathartic, offering relief in these trying times for listeners; a must-listen for fans of melodic death metal in 2020.
2. The Enemy I Know
7. Into Eternity
9. The Oceans Will Know My Name
10. Black And White
11. Coming Home
Eemeli Bodde – Vocals
Mika Lammassaari – Guitars, addit. vocals
Juho Näppä – Guitars
Mika Junttila – Bass
Ville Miinala – Drums
Out of Line Music
Interview Phantom Elite – “It’s always good to share that feeling that none of us is alone in hard times”