Featuring ex-members of the mighty Bolt Thrower, as well as many other notable groups, (including Napalm Death and Benediction), Memoriam can in many ways be considered the successor to that venerable UK war machine. This feeling is especially felt in the vocal department, due the presence of the Bolt Thrower vocalist.
The Silent Vigil features an authentic and nicely aggressive take on the classic Bolt Thrower sound. Actually, comparisons to Bolt Thrower, although obvious and justified, don’t tell the whole story here. This isn’t completely Bolt Thrower Mark II, after all. The band’s sound can be thought of as Bolt Thrower-influenced old-school death metal with some undertones of crusty punk that can be felt here and there, (although admittedly not often). The songs are simple and largely effective, with their groove-and-speed approach to death metal, and their sometimes quite infectious and nostalgic leads and melodies.
The album also has a surprisingly old-school production for a release such as this. This really does sound like cantankerous old-school underground metal. It’s raw, rough, and not pretty at all. I’m sure that this will garner criticism in some areas, (and rightfully so in some ways), but it still adds a certain old-school charm to something that could easily have turned out ultra-polished and pristine; Memoriam definitely have character.
A solid release that’s not without its flaws, I still enjoyed this and its old-school groovy style is hard to really dislike, at least for me. Check it out.