Another belated review as I try to play catch-up with a wealth of impressive albums that have come our way in recent weeks. This one from what is still a new band, but filled with experienced talent – the mighty Memoriam!
Beze reviewed their last two outings for us, and this is my first time really sitting down and giving their material a listen. I always quite liked Bolt Thrower, though I’d never class myself as a huge fan, but what I’m hearing on Requiem for Mankind is very much top notch heavy metal. Even by the time I’d listened to “Shell Shock”, the first track, I knew I was going to like this album. Heavy and angry but still layered with melody, it’s a wonderful opener.
“Undefeated” adds in some doom-like tones and a great atmosphere, and it’s through these two songs that you get a great feel for the band. They don’t try too hard to impress – there are no fiddly solos, or extended widdling parts. What they do is work together with a great sense of rhythm and artistry, painting a (bleak) picture with blunt instruments. Requiem For Mankind churns through the mud rather than flies with the birds, and it’s utterly perfect given the musical style.
Another thing I notice is that the tracks tend to run towards the five minute mark, which gives them plenty of time to grind their way into your head. While Sabaton have gone with much shorter songs for their latest album, Memoriam have gone the other way and it suits their sound far better. As a result, each track gets a chance to sound more epic.
I’m really glad I took the time to go back into our “oh, crap – we missed release date” pile for this one. If, like me, you missed it when it landed last month, this is my recommendation to go and find a copy. If you like your metal heavy and doom-laden then you’ll almost certainly enjoy this.