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Rise To Power

United Kingdom Country of Origin: United Kingdom

1. Never Forget, Never Again (6 Million Dead)
2. Total War
3. I Am The Enemy
4. The Conflict Is Within
5. Annihilation's Dawn
6. All Is Lost
7. Rise To Power
8. This Pain

Review by Michael on January 28, 2023.

Since the unimaginable came true on February 24, 2022, for the first time since World War II there is an absolutely unjustified war aggression in Europe against a peaceful neighboring country by a brutal, rapacious and fact-twisting regime. Lyrics that are about war and destruction have once again increased in importance.

Memoriam started their fifth album within six years with a warning that the Holocaust must never be forgotten. That's good, because that's exactly what the Russian government is doing and what must not happen. In this brutal war of expansion the survivors of the Holocaust die by Russian violence. People who were liberated by them at that time are victims of their greed today. Karl Willetts sounds so pissed off here, I wish that one or the other politician would sound like this once or twice:

"Creating a false version of history
 Construction of a hate filled ideology"

Musically there is nothing new to be found here, but Memoriam don't have to reinvent themselves either. They have moved even further away from the old bands they were once a part of even though at times and at a few various segments Bolt Thrower or Benediction are still recognizable. What prevails here is convincing old-school death metal, sometimes with some unusual drum parts as well as oppressive acoustic guitars like at the beginning of the closing track ‘This Pain’, but nothing that would knock a death metal fan on the head. ‘This Pain’ has become a really dark conclusion of the album with driving guitars that groove quite powerfully. Memoriam are mostly in the mid-tempo range usually, but when they explode, they explode all the more aggressively. A good example of this is ‘Total War’. Frank Healy, Scott Fairfax and Co. seem the most convincing here, when they intersperse these fat, groovy parts. The chorus especially is an absolute killer:

"As the blood runs red
 Increasing numbers of the dead
 Intense hatred now is bred
 Now the war machine is fed"

In the past Memoriam had a somewhat weaker production, because they wanted to experiment with their sound, but here, it is powerful and very balanced. The artwork, which was designed by Dan Seagrave, has again become very tasteful and detailed. Since the war is probably far from over (and there will probably be wars until mankind has wiped itself out) I would say "The war machine isn't fed!".

All in all, with Rise To Power Memoriam have released an album that is quite convincing and complete even though one may need time to fully appreciate it. I didn't know what to think of the album at the first hearing because of the sophisticated songwriting, but after a few listening sessions I think that it is one of the strongest albums of the band.

Cheers to 10 more Memoriam albums!

Rating: 9 out of 10 war machines