Welcome to day seven of my 2020 ‘Album of the Year Top 30 countdown’. I hope you’re enjoying the series so far – plenty more to come over the next couple of weeks in the lead-up to Christmas, so stay tuned!

A quick reminder that you can check out the other picks so far in this year’s series at the end of this post alongside the entire lists from previous years.

And on with the show…

Number 24

Mors Principium Est


AFM Records

Score Of Much Metal: 93%

As a failed guitarist, it will not come as a shock to learn that I like to live vicariously through the talents of others. Therefore, it stands to reason that I am going to like bold, exciting guitar playing, and go weak at the knees for a decent lead solo. Mind you, it doesn’t have to be decent for me to swoon, if I’m honest. However, in the case of Mors Principium Est and Andy Gillion, you are guaranteed to get some ace lead work. And that’s exactly the case with ‘Seven’.

The guitar is king on this record, albeit pushed close by the ambitious orchestration, also handled by the disgustingly talented Gillion. As such, you get some sharp, scything riffs, but you also get some killer lead solos, bathed in a rich, dark atmosphere. Just about every track has a measure of unashamed six-string histrionics within it. But this only goes so far, because without the songs to match, it counts for nothing.

On ‘Seven’, the songs are out of the top drawer of melodic death metal too. The blend of aggression, atmosphere, and strong, memorable choruses is honed and balanced nicely to ensure that there’s a great blend of heaviness and catchiness. Admittedly, some of the tracks took a while to sink their teeth into me, but as I sit here listening as I type, it is one brilliant track after another that I’m now hearing. I therefore stand by my assertion that ‘Seven’ is one of the best melodeath records of 2020.

What I  wrote at the time:

“I was thoroughly impressed by the previous record, ‘Embers Of A Dying World’, but I’m thinking that, if anything, I might rate ‘Seven’ ever more highly. 

To enjoy Mors Principium Est, you have to like melodic death metal first and foremost. If you don’t then it’s best you move on. You’ll also need to enjoy a certain amount of melancholy too, as many of the melodies that litter this music aren’t exactly uplifting. And you’ll also need to enjoy a certain amount of symphonic orchestration as well, because Andy Gillion has liberally coated the music in string arrangements and some grandiose effects. 

If you want aggression, melancholy and elegant melodies, alongside top-drawer song-writing, and technical performances, where guitar histrionics are not considered blasphemy, then you need to check out ‘Seven’ by Mors Principium Est, easily one of the very best melodeath records of the year.”

Read the full review here.

The list this year so far…

Number 25

Number 26

Number 27

Number 28

Number 29

Number 30

If you’ve missed my lists from previous years, you can check them out here: