Album: To The End
Label: Reaper Entertainment Europe
Release date: 26 March 2021
Format: High-quality Digital Recording
“To The End” or a new beginning? Memoriam isn’t shy at whacking out albums almost annually and this being thier 4th album Since forming in 2016, This record ironically to the title, hails to be the start of thier new energy, intensity, and direction.
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by the main man himself Russ Russel who has so many great albums under his belt as it is and obviously Memoriam`s last 3 studio records, so it makes sense to get Russ on board once again.
The opening track is the already released “Onwards Into Battle” which sets the tone for the familiarity of previous Memoriam records and songs but with a flare of newfound vigour. “This War Is Won” getting that dose of old school death metal kick some nice variations and flair’s that keep you intrigued, preparing the listener…..BUT leave all your expectations at the end of this song because this album is a VERY different beast from what we come to expect from these legends and it really caught me off guard I must admit.
This record is seeping with old-school punk and hardcore with the examples of “No Effect” and “Failure To Comply”, This style suits the themes explored within these tracks and rounded off with that signature Memoriam sound keeping old and new fans alike on thier toes. It comes as quite a surprise as a fan of the band and I enjoyed the change of pace showing thier chops and variety, BUT then suddenly because obviously, they haven’t surprised you enough yet…..EPIC Doom!? I have no idea why they haven’t done doom before but I am bloody glad they did now! Nothing summarizes our last year better than DOOM!! What a wicked track that has a very satisfying conclusion! Doom makes sense for this band considering their slow-paced tracks are a few bpm off a doom it was anyway.
Well, now we slowly move onto the title track “To The End”! This is an epic track with great imagery created of this finale last stand and the sense of the futility of the struggle, this track is what I come to expect from Memoriam and it exceeded it. I argue a progressive side of the band is shown here and it’s fantastic, I hope to see this more and more as they write. The track has everything, anger, sadness but a glimmer of hope! then Swiftly from the daunting failure and hopelessness of life, we are greeting with “Vacant Stare”, one of the most interesting riffs out of Scott’s arsenal with an almost positive bounce of momentum. This song drives forward and slams heads into the ground with that riffage and quirky licks that transfigure into an epic track. I am loving the new sound that Memoriam is playing with this record! Not allowing themselves to be expected to sound like they have done on the past 3 records which to be blunt is good because predictability is a band’s kryptonite.
Next, we have “Mass Psychosis” the intro is… Godflesh? Yes?! YES! As a huge fan of them, this is VERY pleasing to me, then into a breakup verse of Memoriam then back into the pounding industrial once again… This song will be colossal live!! We end on “As My Heart Grows Cold” a doomy epic once again and the sadness and solemnity in the track are evident and befitting the title. This song sums up the last year we all experienced and how our stoicism has been tested and those who didn’t make it. What a fitting end to the record.
“To The End” has ups and downs, sideways movements, and DOOM!? A mixture of emotions that amalgamated into one record, and it’s easily my favorite record by them! An Essential metal album of 2021. 9/10 Kieran Scott
9/10 : Epic Storm!
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