Memoriam: “The Silent Vigil” Album Review

Alright, you caught me. I’m in a love affair … with old school, straight-for-the-jugular, death metal. It’s stripped-down, riff-heavy, and brutal as hell, whether it’s played slow or fast. Obituary, Death, Bolt Thrower, Asphyx, etc., are all fine examples of this stellar genre.

Memoriam – former Bolt Thrower members Karl Willets and Andy Whale, along with Frank Healy (Benediction), and Scott Fairfax, on guitars – are delivering The Silent Vigil, an exemplary example of modern death metal genre, but what else would you expect from such a fine pedigree?

“Soulless Parasite” opens the album up with a wall of riffs that collapses into a flurry of death metal greatness. Willets’ vocals are on point, and he showcases why he is a legend in this genre. The song slows to a chugging mass that guarantees sore necks. “Nothing Remains” picks up the pace to neck-breaking speed with licks that are addictive as hell. “From The Flame” is a snarling, pit-inducing, monster of a song. The song’s simplicity is what makes it so good – it’s stripped down and raw. The title track is short at just over two minutes, but it gets straight to the point. “Bleed the Same” is a slow, brooding tribute to the travesties of modern civilization. As the song fades out, Willets’ cries of “Blood Runs Red” brings a reminder of just what kind of world we live in. “As Bridges Burn” is a metal feast. It grabs you right away in the beginning and doesn’t let up for the entire song. “The New Dark Ages” hearkens back to the Bolt Thrower sound that is ingrained in Memoriam. The time changes and the raw brutality make it one of my favorites. “No Known Grave” is a dark and brooding song that crescendos to a crushing end after seven-plus minutes.

Memoriam lay it all out on The Silent Vigil. There isn’t one weak song here, and it gets better and better with every listen.

The Silent Vigil is out March 23 on Nuclear Blast Entertainment. Buy it here!

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