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3.75 | 3 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2019

Filed under Death Metal


1. Shell Shock (5:48)
2. Undefeated (4:11)
3. Never the Victim (5:05)
4. Austerity Kills (4:01)
5. In the Midst of Desolation (4:35)
6. Refuse to Be Led (5:24)
7. The Veteran (4:51)
8. Requiem for Mankind (5:08)
9. Fixed Bayonets (5:13)
10. Interment (3:47)

Total Time 48:03


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

About this release

Nuclear Blast, June 21st, 2019

Recorded at Parlour Studios in Kettering, U.K.

Thanks to UMUR for the addition and adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Kev Rowland
Memoriam were originally formed by singer Karl Willetts (Bolt Thrower) to fill the void left by the death of his bandmate, drummer Martin ‘Kiddie’ Kearns, and the new project was formed with old mates drummer Andrew Whales, guitarist Scott Fairfax and bassist Frank Healy. All four have been around the extreme scene for some years, and now here they are back with their third album in as many years.They have also used the same cover artist for all, so there is a consistent image coming through visually, as well as musically. As for the music, this is old school early Nineties melodic death metal, incredibly solid with some atmospheric interludes which slip more into black metal territory.

It is solid, as one would expect from musicians who have all been doing this for many years, who have played with each other in different acts, but I am having an issue with giving this the same rave reviews I have seen elsewhere. It does really feel at times as if they are going through the motions and following a melodic death metal playbook. They slow it down, they speed it up, they go quiet, they go loud, there are instrumental sections and others where Karl is very much in control, but there is no real feeling of passion, no emotion or openness. It is a wall of sound, and there are times when I found I had been listening to the album but actually hadn’t heard any of it so had to go back again. While it is playing it is fairly interesting, but as to whether it is something I would deliberately take down off the shelf to play is another matter altogether. Solid, but little more than that.
"Requiem for Mankind" is the 3rd full-length studio album by UK, Birmingham based death metal act Memoriam. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in June 2019. It´s the successor to "The Silent Vigil" from 2018 and it´s the band´s third album in as many years since they formed in 2016. Memoriam is a four-piece and consist of former and present members of Bolt Thrower, Benediction, and Cerebral Fix, dedicated to playing early 90s influenced death metal. The kind of death metal most of them played in their respective bands in the early 90s.

Stylistically the material on "Requiem for Mankind" continue the predominantly heavy and mid-paced old school death metal style of the two predecessors, but Memoriam have hit something right on this one, which they didn´t fully achieve on the preceding releases. Both were decent quality old school death metal albums, but with "Requiem for Mankind", Memoriam have raised the quality of all features to arguably make it the band´s most interesting release to date. The songwriting is memorable and catchy, the performances are strong (Karl Willetts does not sound hoarse and out-of-breath like he sometimes did on the preceding releases), and the sound production is raw, powerful, and punchy. A real treat to fans of old school death metal and early 90s Bolt Thrower in particular (the war themed lyrics also point in that direction).

"Requiem for Mankind" is quite the nice surprise after the rather mediocre "The Silent Vigil (2018)", which is an album that had me questioning the relevance of Memoriam. "Requiem for Mankind" answers all my questions with quality and more...quality, and I hail the band for being able to lift the quality of both their songwriting and their musicianship. The powerful and well sounding production job is another contributing factor to "Requiem for Mankind" being such a great release, but it´s the quality and memorability of the songwriting, which is the greatest difference from its direct predecessor. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.
When Memoriam released their debut album “For The Fallen” in 2017 I was expecting great things from them. After all they had two former members of Bolt Thrower in their ranks, the best death metal band to come out of the UK. Whilst it had its moments I was somewhat disappointed – it was certainly heavy but lacked the Sledgehammer bludgeon and strong hooks Bolt Thrower always delivered. Follow up “The Silent Vigil” likewise and felt a bit rushed arriving the following year with a weak production. For album number three, released only a year later again, they have finally nailed it.

The first thing you notice about “Requiem for Mankind” is the production. Here they’ve hired the services of producer Russ Russell and it’s really paid off. The sound is big and for the first time they’ve really captured some of that Bolt Thrower bludgeon. Not only that, but as is immediately evident from opener “Shell Shock” they’ve got the riffs to back it up. Here they really crush and hit hard with just enough melody for them to get firmly under the skin. It’s mainly mid-tempo stuff, injected with groove, also like Bolt Thrower, heaviness taking precedent over speed. Best of all, they keep it up for the whole album with every song earning its place. The band turns in a strong performance – guitars, bass and drums all sounding crushing with Scott Fairfax’s guitar work being particularly good. There’s quite a bit of war themed stuff here but the lyrics also get political on the self-explanatory “Austerity Kills” and delivered with conviction by Karl Willetts.

Despite my earlier comments the first two albums weren’t bad, just ordinary. Here though Memoriam have released an album that can stand head and shoulders with the best death metal the year has to offer. Here’s hoping that album number four, due in 2020 if their current prolific streak keeps going, is just as good if not even better.

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