Memoriam – “Requiem For Mankind” (Nuclear Blast)
And the war goes ever on! Blasting back with their 3rd release comes Memoriam, the old school death metal super group made up of vocalist Karl Willets (Bolt Thrower), Frank Healy (Benediction) on bass, guitarist Scott Fairfax (Cerebral Fix) and Andy Whale (Bolt Thrower) on drums. Initially developed to fill the void left by the sad passing of Bolt Thrower’s drummer Martin ‘Kiddie’ Kearns, Memoriam soon developed into a fully fledged recording and touring band keen to satiate the blood lust of the masses for traditional English death metal. With the first 2 albums “For The Fallen” (2017) and last year’s “The Silent Vigil” drawing across all the elements of the band members’ previous styles, “Requiem For Mankind” has finally brought it altogether into one definitive sound. And monstrous it is too. From Willets visceral roars of ‘..no retreat, no respite…’ to Fairfax’s razor wire riffing, the massive grooves and melancholic melodies add up to an overwhelming atmosphere of gloom and doom in keeping to the band’s theme of war. But while others might sing of glory and even romanticise about conflict, Memoriam bring on all the savagery and horror over the 10 tracks and man, it’s f–king grim! With a barrage from the rhythm of Healy’s bass and Whale’s blast beating drums completing the carnage, along with the superb sound from Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir, At The Gates, Amorphis) and Dan Seagrave’s (Dismember, Suffocation, Hypocrisy) art befitting the veteran prowess on show here, “Requiem For Mankind” is indeed a masterful release set to catapult the band even further. Smashing in on ‘Undefeated’ through Healy’s dirty riffing and Whale’s piston pumping drums, Willets’s drawls are complemented by dark melodies that while exuding finesse, don’t do anything to take away from the bleakness, while the chundering riffola is nothing short of immense on ‘Austerity Kills’ as Willets’s roars of ‘..the cuts of the butcher’s knife..’ before the band hammer smash you in – although nothing can prepare you for the stark contrast of Healy’s deep bass on its own heralding the chorus of the song’s title in this very old school socially conscious number. Foreboding until the end, the title track ‘Requiem For Mankind’ takes the biscuit for its ugly yet catchy main riff twisting evilly and offset by some metallic melodies as Willets grinds and roars like a brooding beast, while Whale chops away brilliantly to add his own percussive talent to the wondrous gloom on show here. An immense release in every sense of the word that both shell shocks and spellbounds, Memoriam have wrapped it up brilliantly here, so prepare for the onslaught onwards!