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Review: Memoriam - The Silent Vigil
The Silent Vigil

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2018
Duration: 57:12
Tracks: 10
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: March 23, 2018
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Readers Rating
The Silent Vigil

Rated 3.33/5 (66.67%) (6 Votes)

I was a little startled when I heard that Memoriam had another one coming in such a short timespan. The band started its activities in 2016, shortly after longtime Bolt Thrower drummer Martin "Kiddie" Kearns passed away unexpectedly at the young age of 38 in 2015, and wasted no time in delivering some decent material with three EP's and a full-length album in just two years of existence.

I enjoyed For the Fallen very much when it came out because it reminded me of Bolt Thrower. Well, it WAS supposed to remind us of the Bolt Thrower era and of the killer slow, almost Doom-ish, Death Metal that was so unique. This time around, I feel that The Silent Vigil reminds me of a watered-down Memoriam that appears weaker and catatonic at times, making For the Fallen (not to mention Bolt Thrower itself) feel like a distant, nostalgic memory.

While the album suffers from being stale and even boring at times, there are plenty of killer passages to go around, like the good "Bleed the Same" and the best one here, "As Bridges Burn". All succeed on being heavy, aggressive, macabre and dense, something not often achieved on the other songs. The homogeneity of the album is once again something to love or hate, as the moments when Memoriam leaves the common place and tries to grab the listener by the balls with visceral performances are extremely rare.

As far as quality goes, Memoriam has plenty to spare. The members are seasoned veterans of the scene and can break some bones without a sweat, and this is why this album is underwhelming to me. It has the merciless groove and chaotic heaviness we would expect from former Bolt Thrower combatants, and even has some of the depressive heritage from Memoriam's first album, but as a whole it just feels less powerful than it was meant to be. If Willets, Healy, Fairfax and Whale don't manage to up their game, they'll be struggling to be a memorable band in the future.

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