Memoriam, originally a band formed from the ashes of the legendary Bolt Thrower, return with their fifth full-length Rise To Power. It’s the second album of their second trilogy of albums.
Heavy, riff-laden death metal from the old-school is what you expect from a core of Karl Willetts, Frank Healy, and Scott Fairfax, and that’s exactly as advertised. This is also the band’s 2nd album with Spikey T. Smith on drums after the departure of Andy Whale in 2020. What will this Vth Crusade bring about for this group of legends?
“Never Forget, Never Again (6 Million Dead)” is a powerful opener. Willetts’ robust growls weave in and out of Fairfax’s dynamic and at times emotive riffs while Smith pounds the drums and Frank Healy moves the groove; a solid salvo with more to come.
“Total War” slows things down a bit more having an intense focus on the gradual growth in intensity, allowing for both the violent and somber to wash over the listener with the calculated precision of an incursion. “Annihilation’s Dawn” is about as fast and furious of a track as it gets on the album serving as the time and place where the power has been seized.
Memoriam are one of the most active bands in death metal, putting out five albums in six years with what appears to be a limitless amount of material to draw from. What might have initially seemed like flooding the market, it is with these last two albums Memoriam have proven to have removed beyond a shadow of a doubt they are not only their own entity, but something to be viewed as separately from the bands that helped to form this collective.
Rise To Power is the next step in their impassioned yet herculean existence; a death metal album with enough intensity and variety, to keep fans coming back for more each playthrough.
(released February 3, 2023 on Reaper Entertainment)
Heavy Music HQ Rating:
Watch Memoriam – “All Is Lost” Video