Your Memorial Atonement

After enduring several successive years of Misery Signals clones, many from the usual Facedown/Strikefirst suspects, it takes a great deal to make one of these releases worth a purchase. While those looking for something groundbreaking will find a fair bit here to blog angrily about or simply ignore, fans of the whole melodic Meshuggah mosh thing could do a lot worse, and may actually find this record fairly palatable. Produced by, and featuring a decent guest appearance from, Misery Signals frontman Karl Schubach, you pretty much know exactly what you're getting within two or three tracks: a pummelling, but somewhat safe, mixture of breakdowns, "epic" melodies and polyrhythmic djent-isms. It is what it is, but at least it's a shining example of how to not completely embarrass yourself ripping off a superior band. The practical endorsement from Schubach doesn't hurt either, as his streamlined, but polished, approach to production smoothes out the unevenness present on Seasons. They have also scaled back the melodeath noodling in favour of a more atmospheric angle, and clearly spent a bit more time ironing out the transitions and song structures than on their debut, which makes them sound a little more generic, but a lot more professional. At this point, you already know whether or not this is worth a preliminary stream or download ― this will not be the album to convert you to metalcore or reinvigorate your interest in the genre, but if you aren't sick of it yet, it's time to take the oft-travelled fork once again. (Facedown)