Friday, 15 June 2012

Review: Mnemic - Mnemesis

 If you were to create a audible portrait that really explained the exact means and definitive sounds of modern metal as a whole, the resulting sound would probably be akin to that of Danish metallers Mnemic, whose fourteen years of touring and five albums have seen them bring together the breakdown infused metalcore of Caliban and Chimaira, the tight and intricate grooves of Machine Head and Fear Factory and the spacey industrial and progressive backdrops of Between the Buried and Me and Cynic. Yes, there's much influences that has built Mnemic into a fairly accomplished name in the world of metal, being name-checked as a favourite of Metallica and developing a large following. It's the kind of following that will appeal to their fifth release Mnemesis with ease.

 The world of groove metal and it's bands are often subject to switches in lineup and Mnemic are no exception. The change this time round has proved itself to be fairly radical with longtime guitarist and drummer Rune Stigart and Brian Rasmussen departing along with bassist Thomas Koefod. Such a radical departure would make some bands more wary of jumping straight into new material, but Mnemic prove to be fearless enough to deliver an album that sounds just as bold and unrelenting as their desire to keep charging on.

 The array of gleaming riffs and breakdowns delivered with a rapid intensity from guitarists Mircea Eftemie and Victor Ronander on the likes of Valves and Pattern Platform truly emphasise the high levels of energy the band have to output, while also allowing listeners to absorb themselves in the layerings of synth led backdrops, raising the standards of the song to a new level of richness and quality, which is aided throughout the album by the ever immersive vocal performance of frontman Guillaume Bideau whose dynamic between the stony growling of Transcend and Junkies On the Storm and melodic vocals that sound like the missing link between Jonathan Davis and Anders Fridén ensure an even higher polished metallic shine and obvious element from modern movers of metal.

 While the band have all the perfect ingredients for an amazing metal album, the ability to write songs that pack a serious punch is lacking in some places and by the latter half of the album songs are melding into one another without even resulting in the building of some progressive soundscape to lose ones self in. This allows for less of a lasting impact that many listeners may desire.

 On the whole, Mnemesis is an effort from Mnemic that stands on it's own. It's not really on par with the all-killing force of Mechanical Spin Phenomena or The Audio Injected Soul, which stand triumphantly over this release but there's definitely a lot of highlights to be found nonetheless. Their ability to create earth-shattering grooves and breakdowns prove that they are still very much a shining beacon of what modern metal is all about and still have the ability to make many of their elders quake in their boots.

 Mnemic's Mnemesis is out now via Nuclear Blast.

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