One sub-genre of metal music which is often associated with being part of a particular niche is progressive, or prog metal. The genre is generally one which requires patience to become engaged with tracks of extensive length, use of atmosphere alongside quirky instrumentation and sporadic tempo changes. However, progressive six-piece MEMOREVE have crafted their first EP, Insignia, which contains four tracks of pure, unapologetic prog metal in a form which is accessible to rock and metal fans across the spectrum.
In a time where the UK progressive metal scene is lacking the next breakthrough act, it is without a doubt MEMOREVE‘s turn to carry the torch.
The opening track is the title track, Insignia, which from the offset gently welcomes the listener in with atmospherics and pulsing synth notes. Once greeted with the jaunty guitar notes and jagged drumming, it personifies a gliding trip around the solar system full of tranquillity. It is at around three minutes when the vocals kick in. The potent harmonies in sync with the distorted guitar chugs and nonconforming drum patterns provide the initial glimpse of influences such as DREAM THEATER and SYMPHONY X.
Following from the title track comes These Reflections, which is immediately driven by a monstrous guitar riff and edgy synth bursts. The changes in time signature are effortlessly executed and the cohesion amongst all of the band members is something to be admired. Just as the world needed a true progressive metal anthem, MEMOREVE deliver one in the form of These Reflections. It single-handedly has reignited the flame in the prog metal scene. The vocal lines from singer Colin Callanan are enthralling and have you captured with every word uttered.
Descendant gives no warning and begins by bursting its way through. With each track, the drumming becomes more innovative and exciting and Descendant is a highlight in the rhythm department. The overall atmosphere throughout the seven minute epic is the darkest of all the tracks, as witnessed by the interchange from the trudging pace with haunting atmospherics to the almost black metal-esque barrage of crushing tones and rapid tempo.
To conclude the EP is Alleviate, a track which displays the finest hour of keyboardist Adele Pease. The sharp surges from the keys which can be heard in the background amongst the roaring vocals compliment the music adequately. Whilst it may be the weakest track on the EP due to the repetitive nature of the song, the essences of a more modern prog music influence from TESSERACT certainly boost the stature of Alleviate. The dual guitars interweaving between each other display great musicianship and versatility.
Whilst there are elements MEMOREVE could tweak, Insignia is a solid debut and features one of the most exciting progressive metal tracks of the last few years in the form of These Reflections. All the components are there in order for MEMOREVE to break through into the limelight, but it might take the band a couple more attempts to hone a style which MEMOREVE have the ability to make exciting and cutting edge again.
Insignia is set for release on October 21st via self-release.
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