Memory Driven Relative Obscurity

Shawnee, OK is home to two heavyweights: a world-class barbecue parlour in Van's Pig Stand and a world-class doom metal guitarist in Dennis Cornelius. Having bent strings in American doom outfits Oversoul, Place of Skulls and Revelation, he's now helming Memory Driven. Although the name sounds more like an interactive dashboard feature than a classic doom band, the Wino-inflected tones of album opener "Nonprofundi" set the stage for the melodic gloom within. "Is There Something There?" resembles a more upbeat Reverend Bizarre, while "Moment" balances the heft of the Obsessed with the melodicism of Penance. Instrumental "Ostrakon" is supercharged with Spirit Caravan-isms, and "Melt Into" maintains this vibe, along with Cornelius's warm vocals and a moody keyboard outro. "Forever Lasting Sadness" follows with an even longer coda that verges on goofiness, but Cornelius bounces back with his Robert Lowe (of Solitude Aeturnus) warbling in "The End of Truth." With any luck, Memory Driven won't let their debut album live up to its ill-fated title. (I Hate)