Interview with Mors Subita: exploring the evolution of sound and themes

Mors Subita is a melodic death metal band from Finland that was formed in 1999. They released their debut album “Human Waste Compression” in 2011 and have since released four more albums: “Degeneration” in 2015, “Into the Pitch Black” in 2018, “Extinction Era” in 2020, and their latest album, “Origin Of Fire,” in October 2023. The band’s music is influenced by bands like Carcass, At the Gates, and Arch Enemy. Their latest album, “Origin Of Fire,” features a blend of heavy, melodic death metal with a touch of progressive elements. The band has experienced some lineup changes over the years, but they continue to deliver fiery and aggressive music.

Compared to your previous works, in what ways do you believe ‘Origin of Fire’ showcases the band’s musical evolution or progression? 

We took a step towards thrash metal or even grindcore style instead of leaning totally on the ”melodeath” sound. Also the sound production all together breathes a lot more than before and represents us as a band and our actual sound very well. There´s more dirt and less polished stuff and that for us is a nice progression.

What comes to the songs, there´s definitely more speed and agression on the album. Classic MORS SUBITA-elements can be found but we have deliberately stepped on the gas even more 😀 These songs are just filthy fun to play live. The energy flows when you have a nice d-beat companied with a blast beat.

Looking back at your beginnings, how do you feel the band has evolved both musically and personally since its inception? Are there moments or decisions you consider pivotal in shaping Mors Subita’s trajectory?

In the beginning I personally only dreamed to release one full-length album. That was the ultimate goal. Anything more just seemed too distant to reach. But the effort and seriousness to obtain that goal was quite high. We did not accept second best and only our vision was the key to accomplisment. After some 20 years of grinding with MORS SUBITA, we don´t take the band or ourselves too serious. Don´t take me wrong, we take music serious but making compromises is a lot easier nowadays, and even failure is sometimes acceptable, haha. We just love doing our own stuff, making music and we still do love to just hang with the band. That´s probably the most important part of making the band last longer than the first demo or album!

Pivotal moments are probably the ones where we have found out the brutality and slimyness of the music business itself. It´s very grim for especially up and coming bands. It is expencive and very tough to get your name out there in the public, especially if you have the passion to stay true to your own musical beliefs and ambitions. If you just ”want to make it” then it´s probably another story.

The Finnish metal scene is renowned worldwide and has produced numerous iconic bands. How has growing up and making music in Finland influenced your sound and approach? Are there any local bands or artists who had a significant impact on you?

Since we were located in the northern Finland, we pretty much lived in the woods. The local scene was tiny and we were kinda just in our own little bubble outside of everything that happened in the southern Finland. Back then we tried to learn songs from c-casette tapes and maybe even Cd´s if someone happened to have those. In the radio there was one metal-oriented program which gave good music suggestions once a week.

We had the most crappy instruments, some of them were self-built and horrible rehearsal conditions. But we had TONS of fun. So, that isolation probably influenced us more than all the later ”internet” years. We learned our instruments ourselves and just rehearsed together for endless hours every week. 

There is many local artists which we listened but I´d have to say Sentenced was our biggest local influence.

Metal music has historically been a platform for expressing dissent and addressing socio-political issues. How does Mors Subita see its role within this tradition, and do you believe that metal music, in general, can serve as an effective medium for raising awareness about societal challenges and promoting change?

Sure, it´s a good outlet for adressing errors in out society. For us it is not a focus but there are some subjects here and there we do sing about like oppression, religion, domestic violence etc. Music in general is good platform for raising awareness, yes.

The world of metal and its subgenres is vast and diverse. Are there emerging trends or shifts in the metal scene that you find exciting or challenging?

To be honest, I don´t have a good picture about the current or arising trends. I´m just afraid that the bands that actually have more personality in their sound get lost in the flood of the fast-food-metal market.

Your involvement in the soundtrack of the comedy film “Hevi reissu” is intriguing. How did the collaboration come about, and did working on a film soundtrack influence your perspective on storytelling, especially considering that your music often carries intense and narrative qualities?

We can have another interview about his. Not directly related to our band.

Beyond the realm of metal, are there any other musical genres or artists that have inspired or influenced your music?

Mostly guitar based music, jazzfusion and blues. Solo guitarists influence me the most, no surprise there. Have been really into Eric Gales, Robben Ford, Scott Henderson, Jeff Beck.

Your music has a strong and intense sound, but beyond the metal genre, are there any philosophical or existential themes that inspire your lyrics or overall artistic expression? How do these themes contribute to the identity of Mors Subita?

The lyrical themes come from every day scenarios and life around us. A lot of the times things are seen and written from my perspective but when the subject is too broad for me to understand completely things tend to take an fictional route. Not so much of a philosophical approach I would say but more of an logical one. Sometimes I try to add a metaphor or two and some extended themes but if it doesn’t come naturally, it’s gone in a heartbeat.

The transition from your debut album, “Human Waste Compression,” to the latest release, “Origin of Fire,” seems to mirror a progression not only in sound but possibly in thematic content. How has the band’s perspective on societal and political issues evolved over the years, and does it reflect in the lyrics of your songs?

HWC was released in 2011 and the band was totally different back then. I can’t speak on anyone else’s behalf but nowadays my perspectives have changed to more realistic subjects and to things I have something in common with. Politics are something I tend to steer away from and societal subjects tackled are tilting more to things that I found somehow fascinating or repulsing. An album or two back the subjects were much more global and nowadays it’s more about the human mind and smaller circles.

In the context of your fourth studio album, “Extinction Era,” the title itself suggests a commentary on contemporary issues. Can you elaborate on the socio-political themes explored in this album and how the band views the current state of the world?

“Extinction Era” was a dark time for me personally and the lyrics tend to get pretty depressive. Some of the lyrics tell about us abusing mother nature, most came out of spite, there are hints of self searching and doubt and some of the songs we’re written in pretty suicidal waters. It is an hard album to digest but I think our current world views are a bit more bright and fiery.

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 4 Average: 5]