Mnemesis (Nuclear Blast)
MNEMIC has always had a little engine that could story, at least when discussing the band with fans, that’s the impression I have always received. The comparisons were always there, well they’re o.k. but they’re no IN FLAMES, or no KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, or any other metalcore giant you could think of. All of their previous outings showed you glimpses of what the band could do, but it was as if they could never kick things into 5th or 6th gear to put them over the top. That is until the released Mnemesis.
This album is solid start to finish; there isn’t one weak track on it. It runs a little over 43 minutes, and before you know it, it’s over. Very few albums do this to me where you listen to it, and before you know it, the album is over, leaving you wanting more. As usual, you’ll probably have some fickle purist think otherwise, but this album was a pleasant surprise, as I did not expect to enjoy it as much I have.
The album kicks off with the track “Transcend”, and it starts a trend that can be heard on this album, continuous infectious melody that carries over from one track to the next. GUILLAUME BIDEAU pulls off one of the strongest vocal performances to come out this year. He paints each song with strokes of harsh and flips things with straight forward clean vocals. Where most contemporary bands would stick to generic guttural vocals, and throw in rudimentary, paint by numbers chorus on each track, each of the songs on Mnemesis really stand on their own, and could have easily been the leadoff single, instead of “I’ve Been You”.
The album takes some chances here and there, which is what puts it over the top. The track “There’s No Tomorrow” is a song 99% of the current metal crop would be hesitant to put on their album. The track is a mix of FEAR FACTORY, BAUHAUS, FAITH NO MORE and perhaps even a splash of JANE’S ADDICTION. Although a lot of bands will cop to certain influences, it’s one thing to say who has influenced you, and another to say, “screw it, this track kicks ass, it’s going on the album”! If more bands did this we wouldn’t have all of the monotonous drivel, cash in on the latest fad copycat bands that are thrown at us all of the time. Some detractors will think, well it isn’t as if MNEMIC is reinventing the wheel, they’re not, but who in the last 20 years has? At the end of the day the music needs to be strong, entertaining, and memorable. I do believe they’ve covered that with this album.
Mnemesis is highly recommended to anyone that is remotely interested in a band like IN FLAMES, and been disillusioned with their last few albums. This is in no way Clayman, but it is the strongest album in this sub-genre to come out this year. It is chock-full of melody, the right amount of keyboards, heavy detuned guitars and bass, and a tasteful amount of drumming that varies from complex double bass patterns to simple straight forward playing to fit and propel the mood of each song.
Victor M. Ruiz