Memories Of Old – “The Zeramin Game” (Limb Music)
Battle Helm Rating
If you’re a power metal fan of Limb Music and bands like Rhapsody (of Fire), Ancient Bards, Human Fortress and Dragony – to name but a few – then Memories Of Old brings back all those thoughts in one fantastic package. A veritable super group of vocalist Tommy Johansson (Sabaton, Majestica, ReinXeed), founder guitarist Bill Jeffs (Nightmare World, Grimgotts), keytarist Anthony Thompson (Nightmare World, Alastria), bassist Erick Tekilla (Neuronspoiler, Headless Cross) and drummer James Chapman (Collapse, Scandelion, Alareiks, Gravil), Memories Of Old were formed by Jeffs only 3 years ago, during which time he has not only composed this majestic debut, but also enlisted the services of seasoned musicians – not in the least Johansson, who upon hearing the material, reputedly declared himself a member of the band! Bringing together not just power, but also folk, epic and symphonic metal along with a hint of British classic prog rock, Memories Of Old debuted live at the Power Metal Quest Fest in Birmingham, UK last year following their signing to Limb Music. As the grand trumpets sound to the 6 minute ‘The Land Of Xia’, the bountiful synth melodies blend with hard riffs and fast double bass drumming as Johansson’s superb vocals add his soul and passionate highs to this song, resonating musical beauty and perfection in every regard, while Jeffs proves that beyond being a masterful composer, he is equally blessed in the fretboard department judging by his fantastic solos all capped off at the end by yet another catchy pirate melody (and banter) courtesy of Aussie band Lagerstein! With a massive epic melody introducing the serenity of ‘Some Day Soon’, Johansson excels in his silky-smooth touch as he delivers the stirring lines backed by band harmonies, symphonic sounds and epic singalong gusto before Jeffs brings his guitar to bear once more in delivering another broadside of blissful melodies and wailing axe sopranos – superb. From its acoustic folk melodies, the 6 minute ‘Destiny’ is a guitar paradise awash with unhurried emotional soul, as wailing breaks meld with Johansson’s bard like vocals enhanced by more backing harmonies as the song grows in both stirring power and passion to melt your heart until its blissful yet equally glorious ending. An immense release by all accounts, and clearly one to put classic power metal back on the map!