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HARDWARES

MEMORY GARDEN

Doomain

(Metal Blade Records)

Reviewed by : Kelley Simms
Rating : 8.0

MEMORY GARDEN isn’t your typical doom metal band. Doomain, the band’s fifth full-length album, continues on the path of modern-day doom metal. Memory Garden’s sound is not bathed in gloom and despair as the genre’s namesake usually calls for, instead, it is decorated with power metal elements laced with hook-laden choruses and sweetly-mixed vocal harmonies. Ditching the standard SABBATH or PENTAGRAM riffs and the depressing sentiments as bands such as ANATHEMA, MY DYING BRIDE or PARADISE LOST, Memory Garden has more in common with CANDLEMASS and SOLITUDE AETURNUS. The Swedes’ melodic take on the genre displays plenty of dynamic, tempo changes, transitions and variation between each track. On opening track, “The Evangelist,” the soaring vocals of Stefan Berglund exudes a slight touch of Messiah Marcolin of Candlemass, if not for total vocal mimicry, but in feel and atmosphere. On “A Diabolical Mind,” the eerie melodies combined with Berglund’s powerful vocal delivery is reminiscent of Ray Alder-era FATES WARNING. On the title track, Egyptian-esque melodies set the tone before segueing into a doomy, pace-setting riff. Candlemass influences show up again on the main riff of “Barren Lands.” The dual harmony guitar segment and lush vocal harmonies only adds to the song’s appeal. I’m not so sure on the band’s choice to end the disc with a two-minute cinematic instrumental. It might have worked better as an intro rather than an outro. But overall, this is a pretty entertaining piece of music.



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