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Memnon Sa - Citadel Award winner

Memnon Sa
by H.P. Buttcraft at 29 September 2014, 3:37 PM

"Citadel" was brought to me under this guise as a folksy, doom metal record. I really have no idea what makes this music “metal” other than the tube-crunching guitar leads that are always selectively plucked on select songs. Similar to a Japanese lyre player you might see in the background of some Japanese action movies or samurai dramas. The band MEMNON SA, not to be confused with the band MEMNON, is an experimental, psychedelic soundtrack that has twinges of Drone, Doom, and Progressive Rock. So the only thing that has density about this album are clearly the guitars played by the band’s sole member Misha Hering.

When the guitars get overdriven and fuzzed out, the drums always remain composed and light as air. There is never really any brute strength put into the percussion section but this is not a bad move from MEMNON SA. The soft drums effortlessly move the expressive melodies from the bass and guitars along like flowing stream and add to the atmospheric qualities of ‘Citadel’. I feel like with this album from MEMNON SA, this is big indication that ‘Doom’ is becoming more independent as its own genre away from the ‘Metal’ tail end that is synonymous with the word doom. But MEMNON SA is offering up a fascinating possibility that ‘Doom’ can be synonymous of itself without being “rockin’ and a rollin’” like the old SABBATH jams from 1970. This album reminded me a lot of ‘Earth 2’ by the legendary Washington rock band EARTH (FYI: EARTH was the original name of the band that would go on to become BLACK SABBATH) and pretty much every single one album that preceded it from that band. MEMNON SA, like EARTH, is a band that wants to reconnect its user with environments that would be recognizable but maybe unidentifiable at first listen.

When "Citadel" begins to levitate your mind into their atmosphere, you’re feet never come crashing back down to the ground. I would compare the emotions in the music to that of gliding or floating, almost as if you were made of ectoplasm, shapes flying together in the air. The exception on this record is the conclusive instrumental “Kali Yuga” that stands out on the record as the only composition with any real crunch on it. The song is very good and has a lovely bell being played throughout, possibly mimicking the act of performing a prayer or ritual. There’s certainly a occult feel to the song “Kali Yuga” and it is devilishly charming! And of course it fades away into a thick dusty cloud in it’s dramatic conclusion. There’s really nothing bad I can say about ‘Citadel’. Maybe if you’re more into metal and don’t like to be bogged down with atmosphere and instrumental trips, then you can skip MEMNON SA. No one will think any less of you. I’m feeling great but not amazing on this one so definitely check this out when you get the chance.

5 Star Rating

1. Citadel
2. Megalith
3. Black Goddess
4. Heca Emem Ra
5. Eshkigal
6. Titans Sleep
7. Kali Yuga
Misha Hering – All Instruments, Vocals
Record Label: Pyramide Noir Records


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Edited 05 December 2022

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