Your Memorial

Atonement

Written by: PP on 16/01/2011 17:03:37

Here's another solid scene release from last year that deserves your attention: Minnesota, US-based Your Memorial, whose hybrid brand of progressive hardcore and metalcore beats most of the competition I've heard this year by largely following in the footsteps of ambient masterminds in Misery Signals. Their vocalist resembles a great deal of Karl from said band, but he executes his thick, solid roars exceptionally well, so I see it as a definite positive rather than negative.

The instrumentals follow a similar platform as Misery Signals as well: ambient melodies meet textbook metalcore riffage that transitions into distinctly progressive passages and polyrhythmic melodies creating more of that atmosphere I've been raving on about in my recent scene music reviews. Unlike the mechanical sound of the vast majority of Rise Records roster, Your Memorial owns an inherently more natural sound, one that sounds convincing and passionate, more structured and intelligent, as opposed to ill-conceived, fake, and often dishonest-sounding breakdown-hell that constitutes the idea of metalcore on that label. Breakdowns and beatdowns are of course used to some extent, but they are more varied and interesting than the one-chord repetitiveness that gives the technique such a bad name.

But what really makes "Atonement" such a good album is its emphasis on the ambient melodies that sound both brutal and dreamy simultaneously. You have aggressive, d-beat tempo songs crushing their Christian message home, but then you also have tracks like "Not Fallen", which through its slow pace and climactic structure resembles a great deal of Gwen Stacy's fantastic track "Sleeping In The Train Yard". Some songs like "Surrender" have lengthy passages of quiet instrumentation that lull the listener into a sense of calmness. The few examples of such found on the record create an intriguing contrast between the heavy and the soft, a much-needed breather for the listener to fully absorb the heavy melodies through more introspective instrumental soundscapes instead.

While "Atonement" isn't a particularly original effort - in fact it sounds precisely like Misery Signals - it still manages to impress the listener through its excellent progressive melodies that give the metalcore base an extra dimension. The melodies are strong and powerful, especially when placed in direct contrast with the vocalist's great, brutalized roars. So in a nutshell, "Atonement" is another breath of fresh air in a stagnating genre proving that it is still possible to release great stuff that doesn't sound generic, overproduced, mechanical or all of the former, which has regrettably been the case in recent years.

7

Download: Not Fallen, Endeavor For Purpose, Atonement
For the fans of: Misery Signals, Gwen Stacy (old), Twelve Tribes
Listen: Myspace

Release date 23.11.2010
Facedown Records


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