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Memories Of A Dead Man - Ashes Of Joy

Memories Of A Dead Man
Ashes Of Joy
by Fiona Murphy at 19 August 2014, 6:47 PM

Paris’ MEMORIES OF A DEAD MAN’s fifth album Ashes of Joy really grabbed my interest from the first listen.

The band pigeon-hole themselves as a straddling the genres (if you can call them that) of post-hardcore, metal ambient and hardcore. All pretensions aside, they list TOOL, NEUROSIS, UNDEROATH, DEFTONES, CULT OF LUNA, MASTODON , NORMA JEAN, ISIS; POISON THE WELL and OPETH as influences.

Basically MEMORIES OF A DEAD MAN has terrific taste.  This band really does wear their influences on their sleeve in that certain bits of the album do sound like each of these bands. The first thing I would say about the album is how impressed I am with the production – is it is slick, professional and really showcases the band to the fullest from its heaviest riffs to ghost-like echoes of piano notes. The clean vocals also sound little bit like Corey Taylor, at other times have a MARILYN MANSON-esque twinge, while the growled vocals are fierce throughout. Highlights of the album include “Melancholia” which opened with haunting piano notes and led into a wall of noise with screaming vocals over the top, finishing with sounds reminiscent of a lullaby.

“Touched with Pensiveness”, another highlight, added female operatic vocals in the background. The result was not like NIGHTWISH or any female-fronted Metal band on the circuit but more like traditional opera singers backing a metal track, adding a further layer to the melancholia weaving throughout the track.

I also loved the chugging riffs that opened up “La Nausee”, while “The Fall of doG: Erase My Eyes” seethed with menace from start to finish. However, while the album meets its goal of being an atmospheric metal album - heavy and melodic, subtle and sinister, somewhere some of the songs just failed to really grab me by the metaphorical balls.

I just want to clarify my previous point by saying this is a band with bags of talent, ambition, good ideas and all the ingredients to take the next step.

However, listening to the album troubled me. I felt like I almost kept saying ‘I really like that’ on each track but somewhere most of the songs would shift to slightly weaker moments.

MEMORIES OF A DEAD MAN just need to work on their je ne sais quoi to move from being a capable band possessing great moments to one that can aspire to the lofty heights of their influences.

3 Star Rating

1. Prelude (Solemn Requiem)
2. Aurora
3. The Fall of doG: Maelstrom Involution
4. Melancholia
5. Touched with Pensiveness
6. Wounded Knee
7. From Mud to Heaven
8. La Nausee
9. Draft of the Second
10. Going Out with the Whore's Saliva
11. The Fall of doG: Erase My Eyes
12. The Swan's March
Ben Debrun
Pierre Duneau
Tony Garcia
Jef Ertleerve Osmont

No Intruments Listed
Record Label: Send The Wood Music


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Edited 05 June 2023

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