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Return to Void - Memory Shift: The Day After

Return to Void
Memory Shift: The Day After
by Eric Poulin at 25 September 2018, 11:35 AM

RETURN TO VOID is a heavy/progressive Metal outfit based out of Karhula, Finland. The band was formed back in 2015 and started off as an acoustic band that played Bruce Dickinson solo-career covers under the moniker Dick & Sons. This is their 2nd full-length record entitled “Memory Shift: The Day After” which contains 10 tracks and 49 minutes of music. It was released back on August 10th on the Pitch Black Records label.

The opener “Secret Societies” has a very fast pace to start off the album which is reminiscent of SHADOW GALLERY and the vocal style does take its influence from the almighty Bruce Dickinson and to a certain extent, his replacement, Blaze Bayley. The heavier parts definitely to have that solo era feel to them. The added twist here are the keyboards, nothing overly flashy, they just help the song transition into some solos. “Man of the Sword” is a heavier number and it has a strong groove to it, in some ways is reminiscent of the “Accident of Birth” era with some NEVERMORE-like power thrash parts. Another influence heard here is ANDROMEDA, mainly because of contained, almost underwater effect guitars. There are some rougher vocals on this one as well, not just high-pitched ones and the solos are almost jazzy in style.

“Midlands” uses a different scale, and has that smoother Hard Rock aspect to it. It also puts the chorus in a different light than the previous songs. The music took center stage before, here the vocal melodies are emphasized and they are quite memorable. “Scars are Real” has that smoother and softer side we are used to hearing from DREAM THEATER, an easy-listening piece of music, while obviously not overly aggressive as the songs before it, does not hinder its musical appeal. “Ionosphere of the Dark” picks up where the first 4 songs left off, much faster paced, it has simple rhythm guitar main riff and has all the elements of being a great opening track to their live sets. The song shows off a lot of passion and some PANTERA-like money riffs.

“The Atlantis” is also an interesting number, which is reminiscent of some JAMES LABRIE solo material, but the vocal delivery here has its root deep in the godfather of storytelling, Mr. Dickinson again. It’s not just in how the notes are hit that you can hear the resemblance, but rather in the way the vocals are narrated. Another highlight on this album in my opinion is “Divine Thunder” while not relying solely on the heaviness of its guitars (it does have that element in there however), just has the IT factor of being a potentially strong single that would appeal to any fan of heavy/progressive metal because of its strong chorus and very friendly approach. Overall, the influences I mentioned above are all extremely evident and even if you can’t disassociate them from the music heard here, everything here is played efficiently and without any ego. The musicianship may be subtle at times, but it is of very high caliber.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Secret Societies
2. Man of the Sword
3. Midlands
4. Scars are Real
5. Ionosphere of the Dark
6. The Atlantis
7. Passenger
8. Between Horizons
9. Divine Thunder
10. Terra
Lineup:
Pasi Hakuli - Bass
Kalle Kukkonen - Drums
Saku Hakuli - Guitars
Antti Huopainen - Keyboards
Markku Pihlaja - Vocals
Record Label: Pitch Black Records
     


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Edited 21 October 2018
 

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