Published Mar 22, 2017It was a devastating blow for the death metal community when England's Bolt Thrower understandably called it quits following the untimely passing of drummer Martin "Kiddie" Kearns in 2015. But from the legendary band's ashes, frontman Karl Willets has unveiled a new project with bassist Frank Healy (Benediction, Sacrilege), who lost his father around the same time.
They formed the aptly named Memoriam as a way to cope with their grief, bringing in guitarist Scott Fairfax and Bolt Thrower's original drummer Andrew Whale to complete the line-up. The band's debut, eight-track album, For the Fallen, is exactly what you'd expect from this revered group of musicians, featuring that familiar old school death metal sound right from the start with the machine-gun riff that crushes throughout the title track.
"War Rages On" carries on the hook-laden assault, while "Reduced to Zero" slows the pace but maintains the dense intensity and sinister tones. Each track features elements that make it stand out from the rest, be it punk-style drum patterns ("Corrupted System"), thrash-esque speed ("Surrounded by Death") or doom-infused heaviness ("Resistance").
"Last Words" ends the album on an emotional note, yet rather than being simply a sorrowful lament, the track features an aura of triumph. For the Fallen exceeds expectations and is a powerful homage to those the band have lost. (Nuclear Blast)