Rise to Power

Now on album number 5, the UK’S Memoriam should not need an introduction. But for those that don’t know, Memoriam is a project involving Bolt Thrower and Benediction members and was started as an homage to fallen Bolt Thrower comrade Martin Hearns (RIP).

And if you also have not heard the band yet, I’ll give you one guess who they still sound like, 5 albums in.

Yeah, it’s still Bolt Thrower (with a smidge of Benediction). It is still simple, trundling but often somber death metal based on war and loss. Karl Willets is still a little less gruff ( and getting less gruff by the album…) than in his Bolt Thrower days but is still immediately recognizable.

However, after a few albums that seemed to get a tad better with each release, Rise to Power might be treading in place a bit as it seems to be sticking with me quite as well as 2019s To the End did.

Some of the lumbering death metal heft has been replaced with a more restrained sort of mid-era Paradise Lost-y, almost goth metal gloominess- just listen to “I am the Enemy”, repetitive “All is Lost” the title track, and closer “This Pain”. And while the somber element was almost part of Bolt Thrower‘s more known work and Memoriam‘s sound, it’s just lost a little of its heaviness here.

There are still a few straight-up if still melancholy death metal bruisers like opener “Never Forgive, Never Forget”, “Total War”  “The Conflict is Within” and “Annihilation’s Dawn” that all check the box for fans of Bolt Thrower, and Memoriam’s heavier style, but for the most part, Rise to Power feels a bit weaker than prior efforts.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 6th, 2023


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