Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Forever Carved In Stone

You know what? It's safe to say that the doom metal band Memory Garden are one of my favourite groups. I first heard them on their "Mirage" album and was instantly hooked. Memory Garden play doom metal with a little power metal and progressive elements. They are like a mix of Tad Morose and Solitude Aeturnus. They are highly under-rated and can hold their own with the other doom giants without being a copycat.

Starting with the bands sophomore album "Verdict Of Posterity" (I have yet to attain "Tides") which is the second album I bought. I had a couple of songs I downloaded or were on compilations from this album and was ecstatic to find a new copy a few years back.

"Verdict Of Posterity" kicks off with the darkly mournful "Carved In Stone" which lays down some killer riffs, solos and melodies. "Shadow Season" and "Wasteland Foretold" are similar with dark riffs and haunting melodies.

"Awkward Tale" and "Outward Passage" are more straightforward doom metal platters with the latter toying with some progressive elements. "Split Image" has a progressive feel as well as some sweeping melodies and choral work.

"Tragic Kingdom" is a mid-paced cruncher with a nice breakdown/bridge while "The Sum Of All Fears" has some cool dark riffs and a quiet melodic passage. The album closer is the epic "Amen" which is not a bad tune, but slows the momentum down some with its 6+ minute reflective, quiet opening. The last few minutes are bone-crushing doom metal with soaring vocals by Stefan Berglund.

The problem I have with "Amen" is that most of my listening is at work where I keep the volume down to respectful level due to our open concept. This means that I often have to strain to hear the first half of the song. And I'm usually home before I get to the last track while listening to the album during my commute. But hey, this is a minor complaint which is easily rectified if I'd just give the song a focused listen.

Overall, this is a solid album of doom metal with crushing guitar work by Anders and Simon, accompanied by the melancholic smooth vocals of Stefan. My favourite tracks are "Shadow Season" and "Wasteland Foretold".

I'll be taking a look at their next 2 albums shortly, but first I'll be reviewing the first of Bal-Sagoth's hexology of albums "A Black Moon Broods Over Lemuria".


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