Mors Principium Est Prove Their Mettle At Their New York Debut

On their first US tour, the Finnish melodic death metal veterans aren't afraid to break a sweat if it means living their dream.

Mors Principium Est Prove Their Mettle At Their New York Debut

Almost 20 years into their career, Mors Principium Est still set up their own gear. Though they formed in 1999 and released their first full-length album in 2003, the Finnish melodic death metallers continue to work like a young band with something to prove. But if vocalist Ville Viljanen and guitarist Andy Gillion look a little worn down before their show at New York’s Gramercy Theatre, they remain resolute and optimistic. After all, tonight is the final night of their support run on Carach Angren's Pitch Black Horror Over North America tour – Mors Principium Est's first tour of the United States.

“Once you look at the list of expenses you do question, is it worth doing?” says Andy. “We’ve been waiting so long for a good enough offer that we didn’t bankrupt ourselves. So when people comment on Facebook, ‘Why don’t you guys come to the States?’ We’ve been trying for ages!”

“We are the roadies for ourselves,” Ville adds. “We don’t have enough money to have other people to do it. We barely get enough money for ourselves. [People] don’t realize how expensive it is to do a full USA tour.”

Two decades is a long time to build anticipation, and and even without the financial and travel risks a US tour creates, Mors Principium Est had to ask themselves: would people still care about seeing them live this late in the game?

The answer: a resounding yes, as the outpouring of support from fans old and new made the long journey overseas worthwhile. The band is almost shocked by just how excited their fans have been to see them live and in person.

“We didn’t really know what to expect,” Andy says. “We didn’t know if we had many fans out here really, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised. It’s the longest tour we’ve ever done, so it’s been exhausting, but in a good way. It’s definitely been a success for sure.”

Mors, whose music is known for its wily guitar harmonies, skillful riffing, mind-blowing finger-tapping, and occasional symphonic elements, are forced to choose only about eight or nine songs from six albums worth of material for their nightly set. Crowd favorites such as We Are the Sleep, Apprentice of Death, and Pure hit hard every night, but time constraints left the band with a whole playlist of newer songs that they’re still anxious to play for their North American fans.

“We would ideally like to come back within a year,” Andy says. “We’re really happy that we came out here and got the opportunity to play to you. Thank you to everyone around the world who helped support the band and get us this far.”

If you’re a longtime Mors Principium Est fan who didn’t get to catch the band on this first American jaunt, don’t worry: the band has a second stint in mind, and even before that, they plan to release a tour diary of their initial trek across America. For now, enjoy these shots of the band’s New York debut, and know that somewhere out there, these determined headbangers are breaking their backs making sure they satisfy fans all over the world.

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