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My Heavy Memory – Clarity Award winner

My Heavy Memory
Clarity
by Rachel Montgomery at 21 July 2020, 7:28 AM

MY HEAVY MEMORY is a Bay Area heavy metal band that combines traditional heavy metal, thrash, alt rock, and throws in some goth and doom elements for good measure. The overall sound of their album “Clarity” is theatrical, progressive, and great for fans of heavier alt-rock and traditional metal alike. I especially love that even though they claim influences from the 1980s, they don’t sound like they’re stuck in that time period. They do their own thing.

The opening song showcases their musical talent from the get-go. “Truth In Lies” begins with a low, repetitive guitar riff that bleeds into a high-pitched guitar melody. The vocals are mostly clear with a trace amount of grit, both solid and have character to make them stand out. The harmony between the lower, rhythmic lower guitars and the higher guitar melody is noteworthy for carrying the song. Also, the slower chorus against the fast verse melody shows some good variety in the opening song, keeping it fresh. The echoing ending is interesting. Segueing into the next song, “Keep Coming Back”, it presents a radio feel that I wish the band would have run with. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE used a radio motif on their classic album, “Songs For The Deaf.” With the varied melodies, the motif could have worked wonders with this album. As for “Keep Coming Back,” it’s a rocking slower song that punches with each beat. The vocal harmonies in the chorus are beautiful. The way the guitar cuts in between the chorus and the second verse and refrain is powerful.

Honestly, all the songs on this album have distinct elements and they all rock. “Bleed The Way” has some great drum tricks and a great, fist-pumping energy. “Council Fire” has this old-radio or old horror movie opening that made me wish they ran with the ambiance and did some interludes to amp up the atmosphere in the album. “Clarity” has a progressive distorted album with a doom-style riff tinged with industrial that creates a steady, ambient sound. I love it when the song bursts with intensity and stuffs the chorus with chanting elements and a soaring vocal line that blasts the song to a new dimension. “This Might Be” is a slower song that’s the album’s love song, it conveys this with the higher, more drawn-out vocal melody which is done smoothly and shows great vocal talent from the singer. “Made Of Thorns” has this cacophonous vocal melody line that’s haunting and creates an interesting effect. Lastly, “Hanging By A Thread” is an anthemic song finishing the album off. Again, I wish the band had more thematic intros or interludes to bolster the album’s atmosphere. However, the sweeps at the end of the song do a great job showcasing the guitar talent.

Overall the album is solid. I wish they took some of the thematic elements between the songs further to create an amazing concept album, but it’s not needed to make this album good. The production is clear, the musicianship is there. It’s a good listen if you’re looking for something that’s more in line with 2000s harder alt-rock like MUSE or QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE. To me, the atmosphere the band can create is one of their strong suits and I would love to see them run with it in a future album.

Songwriting: 9
Production: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Truth In Lies
2. Keep Coming Back
3. Bleed The Way
4. Council Fire
5. Clarity
6. This Might Be
7. Made Of Thorns
8. Hanging By A Thread
Lineup:
David Hechim – vocals
Todd Galland – guitars
Rich Haley – bass
Eddie Koeller – guitars
Paul Monteiro – drums
Record Label: Pure Steel Records
     


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