Memory Driven - Relative Obscurity
I Hate Records
Doom Metal
11 songs (1:01:07)
Release year: 2009
I Hate Records
Reviewed by Goat

Twisting the traditional Doom template to their own use and adding bucketloads of weird psychedelic effects, this debut from Oklahoman four-piece Memory Within (formerly known as Dwell Within) is touching upon genius, but something always seems to hold it back. After intro Super Nova, first track proper Nonprofundi opens with almost tribal drumming and catchy riffing, distant vocals and rambling progressiveness switching to Isis-y light/heavy play with some good usage of almost Burzumesque ambience, all making for a song that straddles several subgenres skilfully. Unfortunately, the album goes slightly downhill after that, and by the time you’ve waded through the whole hour-long experience, there’s little desire to do it again.

It’s a shame, as there is a lot of talent on show. Frontman Dennis Cornelius is a former guitarist for Revelation as well as bassist for Place Of Skulls, the Victor Griffin-led Christian Doomers of some fame, whilst other members have done time in smaller bands like Oversoul. Songs are generally well-written and punchy, but the constant shifting of gears due to the interludes can get a little annoying if you’re not fully involved – the change of pace from Is There Something There? to Heavens Vast especially jarring. Ironically, Heavens Vast is one of the better songs, melodic without sacrificing the power; being fair there are plenty of enjoyable moments, especially the Tool-meets-Alice In Chains power ballad of Moment.

When this album works, it works well – the creepy gentleness of the end of Ostrakon sliding into the acoustic eeriness of Surface Oblivion, for instance. Songs like Melt Into are flawless moments of Doom, and fans of the genre will find plenty to love. Yet ultimately, the album title damns itself, as Memory Driven will not be shooting to Metal fame on the top of this release. For a debut, this is excellent, but you’re really not missing out on much if this does pass you by, and whilst Memory Driven is a name worth remembering, it’s not one that you’ll be hearing much.

Killing Songs :
Nonprofundi, Heavens Vast, Moment, Melt Into
Goat quoted 74 / 100
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