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Memorain - Evolution

by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 03 December 2012, 8:01 PM

There are many was to define evolution as a type of development that can be attributed to varied themes. Within those themes, evolution takes it toll also in several ways while some are easy are distinguishable and right in the spot, some are hard to interpret and endure. It can be inferred as the meaning of life, but I am connecting this to the music world, the burning fires of Heavy Metal music to be more exact. "Evolution", the new album released through Maple Metal Records, also represents another stepping stone for the Greek guitarist Ilias Papadakis as it is his fourth creation of the MEMORAIN project. So why "Evolution"? I assume that Papadakis had plenty of intentions and ideas all throughout the naming process of this number; however, I was left with the impression that his musical peers at the studio that agreed upon pitching in the act were quite a considerable selection of veteran high flyers from the worlds of Thrash and Death Metal. This fine selection of musicians, unlike the lesser known lineups that performed on the project's previous albums, made its marginal impact on the material, sound and general atmosphere of the whole shebang.

Other than the guest performances, which have always been productive and satisfying throughout MEMORAIN's earlier releases, Papadakis took some of the nastiest and specialized Thrash maniacs to aid him on completing the project's strongest and pretty much the toughest album to date.  At the front end was Chris Valago (ZIMMER'S HOLE, WEST OF HELL), guitarist Ralph Santolla (OBITUARY, DEICIDE, DEATH, ICED EARTH), the crazy fretless bass man Steve DiGiorgio (DEATH, CONTROL DENIED, SADUS, TESTAMENT) and one of the greatest drummers to play types of Speed / Thrash and Death Metal, Gene Hoglan (DEATH, DARK ANGEL, TESTAMENT). Is that a fucking super group or what? Sure thing and its the one of the Americanzied promising ones in a not so much cramped Thrash Metal supergroups. I think that we such prestigious guests, Papadakis benefited himself quite a lot. Other than the megastar lineup, there were short lived guest presentations such as Tim "Ripper" Owens (ex-ICED EARTH, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN,JUDAS PRIEST and HAIL!), Dave Ellefson (MEGADETH, TEMPLE OF BRUTALITY, ex-F5), Jeff Waters (ANNIHILATOR), Christian Wentz and Marc Pattison (FUTURES END), Laura Christine (DREAMING DEAD) and Carlos Perez (C:REAL). Quite a hefty bunch I might, even for a sort of a sweet crust for the main recording lineup that on its own could have been sufficient. Not that I didn't enjoy the special additions such as the soloing of most of the guitarists, and of course the smashing deliverance of Ripper Owens on the vocals, but aside from the vocal act and the co workmanship of Dave Ellefson on the sweeping "Rules Of Engagement", the addition of the guests didn't seem that integral for the album's success.

As always, the MEMORAIN project has been taking the finest elements of Thrash and Heavy Metal and mix them up into a tasty dish of volcanic combustion. However, judging by the various examples conjured by this supreme lineup, "Evolution" topped the previous explorations with ease. Rhythm guitar suckers are going to be inflamed by the intensity of the music, such vigorous attitude not relying on anger management, easily maneuvered towards high ends of insanity it is a thing of beauty nonetheless. Though I would mention that the riffs didn't always show the true level of their players, it would be false to ignore the power surge mercilessly pounding. Alongside the rhythms guitars was the rhythm section that proved why it was chosen in the first place. There were a few drumming reprises of the same type of drumming style, but its Thrash Metal remember? I have to admit that I was a bit off from the lead guitar solos. I liked the guest affiliations but the larger part of the solos sounded rather the same with nearly identical picking style running the same notes over and over. The vocal section reminded me why I like good, rude and crude Thrash Metal music with raspy tones, somewhat cephalic growl notations and even a few melodic turnouts in the vein of Tyrant Conklin.

After listening to some of the album's foreboding violent affirmations as "Rules Of Engagement", "The Break", "Death Shop", "Power Out", "Scratching The Surface" and the killer opening sonic molester "Nations On Fire" and the killing instrumental menace of "A New Era", I was glad of being both a Metalhead and Thrasher in particular. Papadakis and the MEMORAIN project are one of the toughest acts in the current Thrash Metal, the assembly of such great veteran talents to record and be involved in such fine material is duly noted and should be reckoned by many. Several of the tracks, rather minor in number, didn't inflict the awesome energetic rage of of the greater good but also didn't narrow my appreciation for more.

4 Star Rating

1. Nations on Fire
2. Where Hate Lies
3. The Break
4. Circle
5. Misery
6. Rules of Engagement (Feat. Ripper Owens)
7. Death Shop
8. Destiny Found
9. A New Era (Instrumental)
10. Power Out
11. Scratching the Surface
12. Methods of the Past 
Ilias Papadakis- Guitars
Gene Hoglan- Drums
Chris Valagao- Vocals
Steve DiGiorgio- Bass
Ralph Santolla- Guitars
Record Label: Maple Metal Records


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