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Memoriam – Requiem for Mankind

Requiem for Mankind
by Liam Easley at 23 July 2019, 10:32 PM

Of the many Death Metal acts out there, one of the more well-known is BOLT THROWER. Unfortunately, that band ceased to exist in 2016, not releasing new material for 11 years prior to that date. The same year they disbanded, however, BOLT THROWER vocalist Karl Willetts recruited the original drummer from the English band, Andrew Whale, to create the BOLT THROWER knockoff band, so that the fans didn’t feel lonely among all the DEATH reincarnations.

With two former BENEDICTION members on bass and guitar, MEMORIAM released their third full-length, “Requiem for Mankind”, and it’s one of those albums that gets better as you listen to it more and more.

What stands out the most is the record’s structure. The better songs are evenly spread throughout the album, reaching a high point at roughly the two-thirds mark. Just as I was starting to lose interest in the mid-paced Death Metal that this album is full of, “Refuse to Be Led” and “The Veteran”, my personal two favorite tracks, smashed through my headphones.

Refuse to Be Led” is a track that is beefed up with what seems to be this band’s signature depth: distant, melodic leads behind groovy, crushing riffs. This style peaks with this track, and the riffs build from the atmosphere created by the introduction riff. “The Veteran” features one of the grooviest riffs you’ll hear all year, and like the previous track, the following riffs progress nicely.

Outside of these two tracks, the rest of the songs shine through riffing and groove. “Never the Victim” is a good example of this, showing off the band’s fine tremolo riff skills. “Requiem for Mankind” boasts great riff progression, and the previously mentioned depth is present on most tracks, especially “Shell Shock”, a great way to kick off the album.

When talking about MEMORIAM, a comparison to BOLT THROWER is inevitable, and if there is one major difference from the classic act, it’s the writing. The riffs are good, but they don’t have as much of a hook as their inspiration, save a few previously mentioned examples. This seems more mid-paced and doom-y, whereas albums like “Reign of Chaos” or even “Those Once Loyal” had speed and ferocity while maintaining a groovy, crushing feeling in the riffs.

Do keep in mind that, while the album does not adhere completely to their predecessors, this does not make the album less listenable. It is just a comparison, and it will not be taken into account for the final rating.

This form of Death Metal has never been something I’ve exclusively enjoyed. The steamroller riffs of OBITUARY, JUNGLE ROT and BOLT THROWER never seemed appealing, but this album is causing the style to grow on me. The style always seemed so restricted until now. Despite a lack of adherence to their predecessors, this album is actually quite good, being filled with crushing riffs and grooves all to be rounded off with an atmospheric outro.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 1
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Shell Shock
2. Undefeated
3. Never the Victim
4. Austerity Kills
5. In the Midst of Desolation
6. Refuse to Be Led
7. The Veteran
8. Requiem for Mankind
9. Fixed Bayonets
10. Interment
Frank Healy – Bass
Andrew Whale – Drums
Scott Fairfax – Guitars
Karl Willetts – Vocals
Record Label: Nuclear Blast


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