Mors Subita – Into the Pitch Black (Inverse Records)

Sunday, 25th March 2018
Rating: 8/10

Championing the frenetic melodic death metal that came to power in the late ‘90s/early ‘00s, Mors Subita walk in the grounds of a number of both Finnish and Swedish bands before them. Into the Pitch Black marks their third full-length as a group (among the ranks is Wolfheart member Mika Lammassaari), and emits a potential ripe for the taking as they continue to build their legacy.

First things first, Into the Pitch Black is much more brutal than you may anticipate. Falling more in line with early Soilwork or Mors Principium Est, they aren’t afraid to take the tempos into the stratosphere with them. Frequent explosions of machine gun riffing are some of the band’s finest qualities, really emphasizing the ‘death’ portion of melodic death. A beefy modern production adds more muscle to it, and it’s hard to find a track where they don’t offer up some tasty riffs to headbang along to (“Defeat” does come readily to mind). But the accelerated pace is only one half of the band’s story, with an emphasis on catchy melodic hooks and virtuoso shredding that gives the listener some needed ear candy to balance against the aggressive grooves. Some electronics are gently inserted at times as well, which gives the overall sound some more futuristic appeal. Thankfully, they buck the trend of employing persistent clean vocal use, which also helps to maintain a healthy level of brutality in each track, even the slower ones (“Shadows”).

Anyone looking for some solid and thoroughly energetic melodeath should be more than satisfied with Into the Pitch Black. It may not venture too far into uncharted territory, but for this style it provides a refreshing sense of heaviness with some impressive chops to back it up.

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