Review: Memoriam - Rise To Power

Album Title
Rise To Power
Released On
Reaper Entertainment

Name recognition can do any band a host of favors. Double that when the names are Karl Willets and Frank Healy of Bolt Thrower and Benediction respectively. Along with that familiarity comes expectations, in MEMORIAM’s case, big ones. It’s arguable that the death metal legends set the bar too high for themselves, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying to meet it.

Rise To Power is their fifth full length in seven years. Evidence Willets and Healy are not attempting to rest on past laurels. The second album of their second trilogy, Rise To Power, sticks to the theme of grief and despair. Lyrically, it is inspired by recent atrocities in Ukraine, as well as the horrific past of the Holocaust. War as the main subject matter on a death metal record isn’t treading new ground, but any member of Bolt Thrower has that right.

Like a time warped Amon Amarth tranquilized by a lifetime of war, Memoriam, project the doom in their spirit throughout Rise To Power. The mid-to-slow tempos on the record dominate, but as on the title track, the band displays their ability to turn up the speed when necessary. On their fifth long player, these vets exhibit more dynamics in forty-five minutes than they have in nearly as many years.

The members of Memoriam know what makes a good death metal record. Unrelenting music, demoralizing lyrics, Dan Seagrave album artwork, the formula is in their hands and their history. Whether they can make a great death metal record under this moniker is yet to be seen. Maybe they are judged with an unfair metric, but that’s the earned curse of high expectations.

Dan Craley
Gotten Out By
Dan Craley

Dan started Getting It Out back in 2018 as a stand alone podcast. He’s been writing for music websites for over a decade and finally decided to start his own. Now living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with his wife and kids, he briefly sang for Baltimore’s Pleasant Living.

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