MEMORIAM — For The Fallen

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MEMORIAM - For The Fallen cover
3.59 | 4 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2017

Filed under Death Metal
By MEMORIAM

Tracklist

01. Memoriam (2:50)
02. War Rages On (4:09)
03. Reduced to Zero (6:37)
04. Corrupted System (6:38)
05. Flatline (7:35)
06. Surrounded (By Death) (3:10)
07. Resistance (3:52)
08. Last Words (8:45)
Total time 43:36

Line-up/Musicians

-Frank Healy / Bass
-Andrew Whale / Drums
-Scott Fairfax / Guitars
-Karl Willetts / Vocals

About this release

Released by Nuclear Blast on March 24th 2017

Thanks to bartje1979 for the addition

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For the FallenFor the Fallen
Nuclear Blast America 2017
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MEMORIAM FOR THE FALLEN reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"For The Fallen" is the debut full-length studio album by UK, Birmingham based death metal act Memoriam. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in March 2017. Memoriam consists of former and present members of Bolt Thrower, Benediction, and Cerebral Fix. The band was formed in 2016 as a tribute to late Bolt Thrower drummer Martin "Kiddie" Kearns. Memoriam released three demos before being signed to Nuclear Blast Records for the release of "For The Fallen".

Listening to the material on the 8 track, 43:36 minutes long album, it´s no surprise that the lineup consists of former (and present) members of Bolt Thrower and Benediction, because there are several stylistic similarities to those two acts on "For The Fallen". The music is predominantly mid-to slow paced old school death metal (with the occasional nod towards faster-paced hardcore punk riffs and rhythms like on "Corrupted System") and with Karl Willetts distinct sounding intelligible growling vocals in front (he has a hoarse almost talking type of delivery, which is pretty unique), it´s almost impossible not to think of Bolt Thrower. When that is said Memoriam are not a clone act by any means, and while they don´t have the most distinct or original take on the old school death metal sound, they still manage to deliver a fairly memorable product, that is of a relatively high compositional quality for the genre. Personally I think the best tracks on the album are the most heavy slow ones, which often features an epic feeling. Examples of that are tracks like "War Rages On" and "Last Words". When Memoriam pick up the pace they are generally less interesting.

"For The Fallen" features a powerful, raw, and detailed sound production, which further enhances the listening experience, and which is generally a great asset to the album. The musicianship is on a high level on all posts. Not that there is anything technically challenging being played, but Memoriam are still a tight playing unit, who know how to deliver their parts in the most effectful way. It´s for example an absolute joy listening to the drumming by Andrew Whale. Personally I haven´t heard him play since his days with Bolt Thrower, and he brings an important personal touch to the music with his playing.

So upon conclusion "For The Fallen" is a good quality debut album by Memoriam and finally a sign that the UK death metal scene hasn´t died out completely. It was never the most prolific scene with arguably only a handful of artists deserving being mentioned among the death metal elite (artists like Carcass, Napalm Death, and the two above mentioned acts Bolt Thrower and Benediction being some of them), and it´s always been a bit perculiar to me, why the UK couldn´t produce more quality death metal acts (I guess early Cancer and probably a few more could be mentioned among the artists above too). Memoriam thankfully belong in the better quality end of the scale, and "For The Fallen" deserves a 3.5 star (75%) rating.
Nightfly
I doubt there’s anyone with even a passing interest in death metal who doesn’t know of the sad premature death of Bolt Thrower drummer Martin Kearns in 2015 bringing to an end perhaps the greatest death metal band to come out of the UK, the band feeling they couldn’t continue decided to call it a day. Memoriam is the next venture of vocalist Karl Willetts who has teamed up with Benediction bassist Frank Healy who suffered a loss of his own with the death of his Father not long after Kearns’ death. Completing the line-up is original Bolt Thrower drummer Andrew Whale and guitarist Scott Fairfax.

Neither Bolt Thrower nor Benediction had released anything new for years so For The Fallen is a welcome return for these guys. It follows in their tradition of old school death metal , more akin to the sledgehammer no nonsense approach of Bolt Thrower than the busier and generally faster sound of Benediction it’s a very good solid release which whilst not the equal of the best Bolt Thrower had to offer I prefer to anything I ever heard from Benediction. In the Bolt Thrower tradition the riffs are solid as a rock with an excellent performance from Fairfax throwing in a few Zack Wylde style licks, demonstrated no better than on War Rages On, the second track in after the underwhelming and ordinary opener Memoriam. Fortunately after this things only ever really dip again for the more simplistic punk injected Corrupted Sysytem with most songs having strong and memorable hooks, with a doom element creeping in at times. Some of the songs are pretty long though fortunately there are enough twists and turns with changes of tempo to keep things interesting.

Overall then, For The Fallen whilst treading old ground with no pretence of originality, not necessarily a bad thing, is a promising start with a strong performance from all which hopefully won’t turn out to be a one off.

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