"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.