Memoriam
To The End

You have to hand it to Memoriam, the Bolt Thrower drummer Martin Hearns tribute band featuring original Bolt Thrower vocalist Karl Willets  and long time Benediction member Frank Healy; 4 albums in 4 years, same cover artist (Dan Seagrave) and almost the same line up for the whole time (only former BT Drummer Andy Whale has stepped down for this album).  And still basically playing Bolt Thrower songs, though on a different label after 3 albums on Nuclear Blast.

Truth be told, there’s not much to expand on if you have heard the prior three albums. Like its predecessor,  Requiem For Mankind, it’s better than its predecessor, as Memoriam seems to get a touch better with each effort. Its a clear mix of Bolt Thrower and Benediction with the needle about 70% on the Bolt Thrower side, though the lyrics are more like 90% Bolt Thrower-y war mongering, death and loss.

You know the sound; the hefty trundles, the tragedy laced lumbers, Willet’s hoarse roar, etc. It’s all here and all completely consistent and predictable, but perfectly done, as you’d expect. From stern opener “Onwards Into Battle” to lengthy closer “As My Heart Grows Cold” (arguably one of the best, but most somber songs Willets has written), you get 45 minutes of mid-paced, slightly doomy, sometimes morose death metal. From the more urgent (though still mid-paced) tracks like “This War Is Won”, ” No Effect” and “Failure to Comply” to the more somber, standout numbers in the album’s mid section like “Each Step (Closer to the Grave)”To The End” and “Vacant Stare”.

Before the excellent, somber closer though, there is “Mass Psychosis”, an industrialized nod to Killing Joke that I thought was a cover song at first, and it stands out like a sore thumb, not in a good way. But as I’ve mentioned, the excellent closer “As My Heart Grows Cold” ends the album with a song that at times, could be a My Dying Bride number from The Angel and the Dark River. 

One could argue that Memoriam has been surpassed as the most Bolt Thrower-y band of them all by the likes of Frozen Soul and Just Before Dawn, but it’s still cool to hear an homage from these old warhorses that is essentially the remains of the band still going all these years later.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 5th, 2021

Comments

  1. Commented by: 311

    I’m assuming “Crypt of Ice” is referencing Frozen Soul’s most recent album? If so that album is terrific (and if there’s another Crypt of Ice out there making Bolt Thrower-inspired death metal, please do share!).


  2. Commented by: Erik T

    Yep- sorry meant Frozen Soul. Cheers


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