Sound Of Memories – To Deliverance (2015)

These French melodic death metallers definitely show some promise on this debut, even though the performance itself is a little muddy and I’m having a lot of trouble hearing the melodies over the frontman’s monstrous growls. Del and Lucho prove that they’re a great team, but someone mixed Flo’s vocals far too high in the mix and I really only get to hear the greatness (of what truly are some fascinating harmonies) when his vocals aren’t at the forefront. These guys also unleash some solos, which certainly help to beef up the disc a little bit. That being said, it’s still very muddy, especially when the growls blend right in with Nacim’s drumming at times, making for a saving grace in those dual axe riff compositions. Once again, when we’re not hearing Flo these guys get a real chance to shine as the very beginning of “Amenaa” (4:44) demonstrates, but as soon as the vocals come back into play, we lose the leads completely. I just can’t explain to you how obnoxiously over the top these vocals are, and this is ridiculous. I’m not supposed to really talk about this, but I’ve listened to an as yet unreleased track from our forthcoming album in which I too realized that my vocals were far too high in the mix. Though I wanted to be heard, I also wanted the instruments to be as well, so I’m going to remix the track and turn the vocals down a little so that the guitars can be greater heard. The vocals here are at about an eight and need to be about a five, really. It wouldn’t even have taken that much effort. It’s obvious that Flo has an extremely thick vocal approach, which just seems to spew gravel over top of the riffs and that for me, makes a very uncomfortable listen. Although the record is done and sitting on my desk, I feel they should stop pressing it, remix the thing again and then release it. One simple step could have made for a much more interesting listen, as these guys definitely have talent and make memorable melodeath. I love it in that respect and would definitely recommend it to fans of the genre, like me (who absolutely loves the stuff). I can assure you that you’re not getting a bare bones approach to the genre and it definitely stands as a firm representation of what MELODIC death metal is. There’s a reason that I’ve always loved this genre, and MELODY has a big part to do with it. It’s the same reason I love power metal and other melodic approaches to the genre. Beethoven said that “music is melody” and I stand firm behind that. I always have, always will. That’s just how I see it.

Bad vocal mixing aside, I have a strong feeling that fans will enjoy the multitude of different interlocking song structures that appear on this album, which shows an act that definitely wants to step out of the box. It’s quite obvious that there is also technicality in sections here, but the music certainly does borrow as much as it does from Sweden as it does from Japan. Crow’sClaw actually had a period where they put out nothing but melodic death as did Thousand Leaves, and you can hear much of the same style of melodic death here. There’s additional moments of technicality, but it seems to be hitting all the right notes for the most part, and even though I still can’t hear all the riff melodies that I’d like, I certainly can’t complain beyond that. Sound Of Memories certainly aren’t your run of the mill melodic death act and they’re not simply a throw away that sounds like everyone else out there. But they do need to work on finding an identity and moving closer to a less emulative style (as “From Above” (5:41) displays rather well in it’s unexpected clean chorus (and notice the drum taps there as well) which I do believe they can accomplish. These guys are currently unsigned, but they’re definitely worthy of being on a label. Despite how much I hate this mix in some areas, I can’t deny that the piece as a whole is exhilarating. As I said, I wanted to hear memorable melodies, and that’s just what I got here. They’re pretty damn promising and you still owe it to yourself to check them out.

(10 Tracks, 44:00)

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