03. Junkies on the Storm
04. I’ve Been You
05. Pattern Platform
07. Haven at the End of the World
08. Ocean of Void
09. Blue Desert in a Black Hole
[Nuclear Blast Records]
I’ve always cared a great deal for Mnemic. Their records Mechanical Spin Phenomena and The Audio Injected Soul are among my favorite record because of their great songwriting and their ability to be a gateway into the heavier realms of metal. Since original vocalist Michael Bøgballe’s departure, they have released two good records in Passenger and Sons of the System. However, neither of them have matched the high level that their debut and sophomore efforts have achieved. I attribute this to an overall lack of songwriting chops. Whether this is because of Michael’s departure is a mystery, but despite this, Mnemic have achieved a great level of success. And for the most part, the cleverly titled Mnemesis will allow Mnemic to keep their very strong momentum.
Mnemic play groove metal, and they put heavy emphasis on groove. You will very often find yourself bobbing your head through listens. It is indeed a very fun record to listen to. Mnemic manages to put energy into every track, and you can tell they put their heart and soul into their music. Much of this comes from vocalist Guillaume Bideau, whose voice is the most prominent and powerful figure on the record. His pitch is on point on most occasions, and he belts out very anthemic choruses that make you want to sing along with him. He also screams quite powerfully on the record, but not to the same degree of quality as his cleans.
The rest of the band proves to be strong as well, as the guitar and bass work is crisp and clean. Guitarists Mircea Gabriel Eftemie and Victor Ray Salomonsen give very strong performances, recording strong riffs, tight chords, and interesting leads. Bassist Simone Bertozzi can also be heard deftly mirroring the guitar part and performing his own parts on occasion. Drummer Brian Larsen also gives a memorable performance. One of the key necessities of groove metal is a talented drummer who is immovable in the pocket, and Larsen proves to be just that.
However, being adept on your instruments a great record does not make. Indeed, all of the talent in the world means little if you lack songwriting ability. And here is where we find Mnemic lacking on occasion. The latter half of the record seems to be not as successful as the first half in terms of memorable and impressive parts. Sure, they are still there, but they are fewer and farther between. Production also seems to be inconsistent. The guitar seems to be low sometimes, and the vocals are a bit high in the mix at times. This isn’t very impactful, but a more streamlined production would’ve been appreciated. Many thanks to the producer, however, for allowing the bass to be audible, which means a great deal to me.
Is it as good as their first two offerings? This reviewer says no. However, this is mostly because of those two records near-unattainable level of quality. Despite this Mnemesis is still quite an enjoyable record, and I’m glad to be able to say Mnemic are still one of the top dogs when it comes to groove metal. Perhaps a little more emphasis on songwriting next time will finally put Mnemic over the hump and deliver a record that will be the peak of their career. Until then, Mnemesis will be getting its fair share of spins.
Mnemic – Mnemesis gets