There is nothing that can be said that hasn’t already been said about the tragic losses that led to the birth of Memoriam, that loss lit a fire of creativity through grieving in the belly of the beast that was to become in the form of the ‘Hellfire demo’s’. From the sound of those alone, a fan base grew massively, and the interest in the band seriously developed from all, the interest helped push the band to take to the live stage (catching their UK debut at Bloodstock last year showed real promise), and with that came the interest of a certain Nuclear Blast. A relationship that was destined to happen with thanks to the great relationship between both label and Memoriams related bands, the result being their 8 track debut, ‘For the Fallen’.
Before cracking the album on, you have the sense that the destructive power you are about to get will be a blend of the expected, Benediction and Bolt Thrower, and that is just what you do get, but to a level that works better than you could think. Opening with the ‘Memoriam’, you are greeted with a steadily paced monster, a track void of the lyrical genius Karl Willets until past the halfway point, what it showcases though is the crushing tank that is the blend of guitarist Scott Fairfax and bassist Frank Healy, a pairing that worked live together for Benediction, more impressively though is the powerhouse behind the kit in the form of drummer Andy Whale, a man that put down the sticks since around 1994, he clearly hasn’t missed a beat since. Following on comes the much faster paced ‘War Rages On’, already getting itself out their courtesy of the Hellfire Demos, the title giving the clue that the lyrical content of Bolt Thrower is as familiar as ever, its monstrous pace changing only slightly for the crushing chug at points.
‘Resistance’ brings a slower pace that can soon shift gears like an old ME-109 fighter heading into an inverted dive for an attack, following up like a panzer to destroy anything left standing is ‘Reduced to Zero’, sitting in at 06:37, it sets the mark for the next few tracks with the politically charged ‘Corrupted System’ and ‘Flatline’, the perfect showcase track for the bands writing and cohesion. ‘Surrounded by Death’ brings an almost groove feel with some real screaming harmonics and leads to the fray with a serious battering ram of a backbone between Healy and Whale.
Penultimate track ‘Resistance’ brings us back to another familiar track with thanks to the Hellfire Demos, with final track ‘Last Words’ closing us off with a close to 9 minute finish. Opening lyrically much like a letter written from the front line before going over the top, forever known for the fascination with the history of war and the interest of politics, it proves to be a fitting tribute to those lost both present and past.
For a band that never intended to create a studio release, they have seriously come up trumps. Fans of those bands involved that have come together for this will be biting at the chance to get their hands on this, I’m sure that if the much loved and missed Martin “Kiddie” Kearns could hear it, he would be sat with a smirk and some witty comment about it, but none the less still love it, as for Franks father, he’d settle just to have a drink I’m sure.
'For The Fallen' is released March 24th through Nuclear Blast Records