Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mnemic - Mnemesis


On my list of metalcore bands, Mnemic is the second heaviest. Before I heard the band in the number one spot, Sons of the System (my first Mnemic album) was the heaviest metalcore record I had ever heard. I shouldn’t even have to discuss Mnemic’s history because it’s so well-known other than that they owe their fame to Metallica, who discovered Mnemic’s debut record and loved it so much that they added Mnemic as an opening act on their next European tour. That was in 2003, I didn’t know the name Mnemic until 2010, when Sons of the System was just about to be released. Since then, I’ve been stalking their website, waiting for a Seattle date to appear on the tour dates section. But anyways, I’ve been waiting for what seems like an eternity for a new record and finally, Mnemesis has been unleashed to the public. I got my first taste of the new record when Nuclear Blast posted one of the songs on their website. It felt like I was a junkie that had just received my first shot in years, the sun came up when that progressive guitar lick came on and the drums kicked in.

I can’t quite say how many times I pressed the replay button that Saturday morning......somewhere in between 10 and 20 times. I wasn’t going to draw any conclusions about the entire album based on that one song, so I waited until I could obtain the album before I got too critical. Now that I have the album playing as I’m typing this review, I can confirm the label’s words that this is something completely new for Mnemic and it.....is.....amazing.

I’m not going to talk about any of the individual songs in this review because I haven’t listened to it enough to pick out favorite tracks. But I have listened to it enough to get a strong feel of the album and grow an opinion. Ok, finally, let’s start: first of all, much of the heaviness has slipped out. This isn’t a bad thing because the album still crushes, but with a more progressive attitude. I wouldn’t say they’re more melodic; instead I would say they have a more psychedelic feel. The music in general still has a strong progressive metalcore feel, but will less breakdowns.

Also, one thing that I’ve noticed that they’ve always had in their music is a thrash metal vibe. But in Mnemesis, it’s literally nowhere to be found. So that’s one of the big progressions they’ve made; so now that the thrashy heavy crust has been removed, it’s left the rest of the sound naked and exposed. But even then, there’ve been many changes and alterations performed on the music itself. For example, the singing is a lot deeper and the vocal harmonizations are much more complex; but they still have that really Mnemicy psychedelic sound that everyone loves. The harsh vocals aren’t the yelling anymore; that has COMPLETELY gone away. Instead, it has been replaced by both deepish and midrange growling. I know that this may be a major downer for many of you because that was one of the things both of the Mnemic vocalists have been known for (by both, I mean the original one and the current one who replaced him).

Personally, I’m more of a fan of the sound that Sons of the System and The Audio Injected Soul brought to the table. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sound Mnemesis holds, but it’s not quite enough to live up to the 19/20 score I gave Sons of the System. I would highly recommend this to all metalheads, especially fans of progressive metal and metalcore. I would score this record 17/20.