Nothing can stop Memoriam anymore.
Created in 2015 in England, the project led by Karl Willetts (vocals, ex-Bolt Thrower) along with Scott Fairfax (guitar, Massacre, As the World Dies), Frank Healy (bass, ex-Benediction, ex-Sacrilege) and more recently Spikey T. Smith (drums, ex-Sacrilege, ex-Morrissey…) following the departure of Andrew Whale in 2020, announces the release of Rise to Power, its fifth album.
This new opus opens with Never Forget, Never Again (6 Million Dead), which immediately gives birth to a heavy universe forged in Old School Death Metal after this melancholic introduction. Catchy riffs and the vocalist’s rocky vocals give the track a visceral energy, still letting some heady melodies haunt this vibrant tribute before Total War develops a heavy and jerky rhythmic before letting intensity come back thanks to slower parts. Perfectly balanced between the two elements, the track links devastating moshparts with haunting melodies to lead us to I Am The Enemy, a rather heavy and heady track which will gradually let appear more energetic parts. Airy leads bewitch us in company of vocals, then The Conflict is Within will return to raw abrasive Old School bases the combo perfectly handles to let these sparks of rage explode from time to time, without ever forgetting the melodious and impressive parts. The contrast is also expressed on Annihilations Dawn which couples energetic drums with epic leads on a catchy and rather slow basis driving us to All Is Lost and its much darker tones, even when the riffs go wild. The vocal interventions remain quite solemn, creating a rather weighing atmosphere for the track, then it leads us to Rise To Power, the eponymous track, and its dissonant leads coupled with a solid basis. This track will remind the nostalgic Bolt Thrower fans of their greatest tracks while allowing newcomers to appreciate the melodic and raw mix before This Pain offers soft and soothing sounds. The approach is clearly different at the beginning of this last track, but it doesn’t take long for Old School Death Metal to resurface, creating a wave of catchy riffs following screams, and it also doesn’t take long for the band to get crowds around the world chanting « For Victory. »
Although musicians all have a great resume, it’s satisfying to see that Memoriam offers a real evolution in sound while remaining rooted in Old School Death Metal, making Rise to Power a varied and catchy album.