Abused by the mindless masses, this band rises above
One of the more maligned bands in metal, one can only think, when reading some of the abuse that has been hurled at them on forums etc, how mind-bogglingly narrow minded some metal fans can be. Mnemic’s music is a little different from the monotonous, blast beat driven fare that many metal bands dish out over and over. Their music is melodic, grandiose at times, features keyboards and clean vocals and refuses to be put into a convenient genre box, and this steps outside the tunnel-vision idea that many fans think metal should be. It’s sad, because those fans miss much enjoyment.
Backtrack five years and Mnemic release Passenger, one of the great underrated gems in metal history. The band followed that up in 2010 with Sons of the System (SOTS henceforth), which definitely had its moments, but was ultimately a minor disappointment after its awesome predecessor. 2012 brings their fifth full length effort, and while it doesn’t scale the lofty heights of Passenger, it’s a step up from SOTS. Again, it’s hard to nail down exactly what sub-genre to place these guys in. So the best idea is to not even try, and simply enjoy it for what it is; a varied, dynamic, interesting modern metal album.
Between SOTS and Mnemesis, Mnemic had a massive overhaul of their line-up which left only founding member Mircea Eftemie and front-man Guillaume Bideau remaining in the band but, listening to Mnemesis, the change appears to be seamless. Virtually all of their trademarks remain, the fat grooves, the off kilter rhythms, the alternately soaring and howling vocals and the sense of adventure in the song-writing.
On the downside, the title track seems a little flat, the melodies aren’t overly strong, and it generally doesn’t seem to work but, man, does the album pick itself up straight away. There’s No Tomorrow is one of the best songs this band has written, majestic and soaring, and featuring a stunning vocal performance from Bideau.
Don’t be swayed by what the short sighted keyboard cowboys say on internet forums. It’s way too easy to sit in your cushy bedroom and sling shit at a soft target from thousands of miles away. If you haven’t heard Mnemic yet, check them out for yourself, and this album is a fine place to start. They offer something a little left of centre in the metal realm, and if you are looking for something a little more than a wall of brutal noise in your heavy music, Mnemic may be the band for you.
(Nuclear Blast Records/Riot! Entertainment)