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Memoriam – For the Fallen Award winner

For the Fallen
by Jose Macall at 13 March 2017, 9:58 AM

A ravaged wasteland with cryptic figures engaged in a procession foreshadows a grim sound. While typically one thinks of remembrance as a moment a silence, we have here quite the opposite from MEMORIAM. MEMORIAM is a branch of the BOLT THROWER family tree. The Death Metal stalwarts have come together to unleash a devastating fusillade of auditory destruction.

This album wastes no time getting down to business as the beginning title track offers a brutally enticing riff. After a brief intro, the listener is immediately fed into the sonic battlefield that is pure Death Metal as “War Rages On” starts. The third track “Reduced to Zero” ticks away like a time bomb before bursting forth with a dense overflow of heaviness. The next song “Corrupted System” starts out grindingly fast, slowing only temporarily to lay down more crushing riffs, then picks up the pace and plows onward like a banzai charge of pure adrenaline. These songs set the pace and feel for the rest of the album. Several songs clock in at over six minutes long however they’re all ironclad masterworks of musical brutality. It’s an overpowering beat down that drags you through a journey of intensity right up until the last notes of the somber “Last Words.” This is the soundtrack to the grim reaper lowering his scythe on mankind’s reign. This is the first barbaric cry a simian savage roared as he moved in for the kill, echoing through the ages. This is Death. This is Metal.

As a longtime fan of both associated acts, MEMORIAM plays something immediately familiar to me. It’s a low rumbling sound that pounds away like an artillery barrage. The distortion adds a sound, and I mean this is in a good way, like they found a way to play an idling engine as an instrument. It’s a bulky cumbersome behemoth rolling along unfettered. The riffing is off the Richter scale, the drums and bass and vocals all work together to add to the assault creating a combined front of decibel devastation. It’s hard to really pick any one thing to focus on because this is a palpable old school Death Metal feel. You’re either familiar or you aren’t and if you aren’t you should be. Fans of metal only do themselves a disservice by not being familiar with the works of BOLT THROWER and BENEDICTION and now MEMORIAM.

What MEMORIAM do throughout “For the Fallen” is continue the sound and feel so many fans enjoy. Sure you could argue that this band could just have been called “Colt Stower” and does away with the pretense that this is something new, however that would be negating the effort put into this release. MEMORIAM maintains a similarity in sound to their related acts of BENEDICTION and BOLT THROWER but there is still an evolution here. There are elements here that fans of acts like TERRORIZER and JUNGLE ROT will enjoy. It’s a lumbering aggressive style that while not incredibly intricate or overly technical, is a clinic on the fundamentals of Death Metal. There shouldn’t be anyone on the fence about picking this one up; you’re either a loyal horn-raising fan of Death Metal or a wiener.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 5
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Memoriam
2. War Rages On
3. Reduced To Zero
4. Corrupted System
5. Flatline
6. Surrounded By Death
7. Resistance
8. Last Words 
Frank Healy - Bass
Andrew Whale - Drums
Scott Fairfax - Guitars
Karl Willetts - Vocals
Record Label: Nuclear Blast


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