Well, Buried Memories is something quite different. The progressive post-metal elements that could be heard on Continuum have been ramped up, along with an increased electronic/industrial post-doom edge. Which in some ways should hardly be surprising as Buried Memories is a collaborative effort with, as the band blurb says, “…industrial metal icon Justin K. Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu…) and ambient gloom metal maestro James Plotkin (Khanate, Jodis etc.).”
The first three tracks are Justin K. Broadrick’s, offering a new collaborative track, (Hitmen), and then two Jesu/JK Flesh remixes of the same song. The original version is a guitar-led exploration of progressive soundscapes, easily compelling and immersive in its atmosphere. It’s very much to the release’s credit that the two remixes each have their own distinct character and style, and make the three tracks into a very enjoyable and quite differentiated trilogy. Threads of commonality can be found across the whole, but the stamp of Justin K. Broadrick’s Jesu and JK Flesh projects elevate the remixed versions of the song to unexpected heights. In fact, these are less remixes, and more reimaginings. Very impressive and enjoyable.
Following this we get to James Plotkin’s half, which consists of three different songs, with an alternative style to the first three. Across the three, Sons of Alpha Centauri are pushed and stretched, from Warhero which showcases a version of the band’s more recognisable side a bit more, (such as the original Hitmen did, albeit in a different way); to Remembrance, which is a short, nightmarishly bleak drone piece; on to closer SS Montgomery, (an older song, originally), which crowns the album, building industrial post-rock atmosphere until everything ends with release and satisfaction. Much like the Justin K. Broadrick side, the James Plotkin side is very impressive and enjoyable, especially as it has a different feel and personality.
Sons of Alpha Centauri are the glue that keeps this ambitious release together, while the other two artists roam and explore with the core sound of the band. Buried Memories is a masterclass in collaboration, and rather than being a disjointed experiment, comes across as a holistic success.
Very highly recommended.