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Memoriam - The Silent Vigil

Memoriam - The Silent Vigil

Label : Nuclear Blast | Archive under death metal / grindcore

Release type: Full-length CD

Sicktus : Exactly a year after the band made their official debut with ’For The Fallen’, Memoriam are back with its follow up: ‘The Silent Vigil’. Which is pretty fast. Maybe even a bit too fast? After a first spin, ‘The Silent Vigil’ sounds like a logical follow up to ‘For The Fallen’. Heavy riffs, big grooves, threatening and ever onward thundering drums...

After a couple of spins though, I do notice that the songs are a bit repetitive – there isn’t really that much variation going on, both within the songs and when comparing songs throughout the album, it just feels like a lot of the same ingredients and structures are re-used. And where ‘For The Fallen’ had that extra doomy layer, that dark edge, ‘The Silent Vigil’ does not. There are a couple of very decent tracks here, but no real stand out, instant hits or classics. If we leave the title song out of the equation (which is the odd man out, with a playing time of just 2 minute 15), the other eight tracks almost get a six minute average, while it feels there wasn’t enough material to actually pull that off. The result is a lot of repeating, with not enough hooks, breaks, interesting transitions or changes of pace to really give these tracks an identity of their own. And it is not just that: the sound and play have some defects as well – especially the title track suffers from those flaws. Willets vocals sound a bit rusty and forced at times.

All in all, this means that ‘The Silent Vigil’ is a lot less strong and impactful as its predecessor. The album feels a bit (too) rushed. The fact that it is still a rather decent oldschool death album in the end, is simply due to the fact that the veterans of Memoriam on a bad day are still a 100 times better equipped to deliver some crushing death metal than most bands in the genre – but I for one would not mind waiting a year longer for the next album, if that would benefit the overall quality.

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