For the Fallen
TLDR: Bolt Thrower’s successor manages to sound like its father combined with Napalm Death’s death metal era. And some Benediction.
Review: Bolt Thrower is dead. Long live Memoriam! As many of you know, Bolt Thrower ceased to exist when their drummer Martin “Kiddie” Kearns passed away in 2015. 30 years of war-themed death metal had come to its end. But not for long. Memoriam consists of Bolt Thrower vocalist Karl Willetts, ex-drummer Andy Whale, Benediction bass-player Frank Healy and Scott Fairfax, live guitarist for Benediction. With this set-up this quartet is now set to pave the road for what could be described as successor to Bolt Thrower.
Even though mister Fairfax is said to be the main composer for Memoriam, it still manages to sound much like Bolt Thrower. To a level of surprise, I must add. This debut album consists of eight tracks of which three have been released earlier on Hellfire Demos EPs I and II. Thus it comes by no surprise that this album would rock the boat and be one of the better albums this year.
Lke Bolt Thrower, Memoriam pounds its death metal mostly in midtempo and in rather simple, even groovy riffs. One could say there are elements of death metal era Napalm Death here as well as elements from Benediction. These are then melted to what sounds much like Bolt Thrower leftovers, and voilà Memoriam!
The production is good and something you could expect from a BT release. Willetts is as strong as ever before and Whale’s drumming is just what it should be. There are very few surprises here, which I think is a good thing.
Even though this is not even close to the better Bolt Thrower releases, I think For the Fallen is a strong and solid death metal release and definitely the best album I’ve heard so far this year. If you consider yourself a Bolt Thrower fan, this one is a no-brainer. Get it.
2. War Rages On
3. Reduced to Zero
4. Corrupted System
6. Surrounded (By Death)
8. Last Words