October 16th, 2009
Release length: 54:44
There does seem to be a bit more of a commercial feel to the album compared to some of the band’s earlier releases that really had an impact on the “Power” aspect of this musical style. But, of course that’s not all. There are also times on the album where the music will either feel drug along to increase the track length, or, like in the case of the starting track “Forsake What I Believe”, as if it just took long for the song to actually build up and kick in. “The Conjuction of 7 Planets” is the perfect example of this, as this song is a very compelling piece by Brainstorm, but doesn’t quite have the same bite that they are known for. Either way, musically it is impressive with some nice Progressive elements here and there, but the song really does seem to take forever to actually kick in.
Now, don’t take all of that as to say this album is horrible, as that would be an outright lie. There’s still some classic Brainstorm moments on Memorial Roots that fans will enjoy. “Cross The Line” is the first song on here that you’ll come across with any real bite thanks to the speed of the instruments, as the march-like drumming utilized in the chorus. This an a number of the shorter tracks, such as the haunting “Blood Still Stains”, and the somewhat Iron Maiden-esque “Ahimsa”, are really where the intensity of the band shines through. Other then that, much of the material here seems to find the band trying to bring in a sort of epic aura, and pretty much failing. “Victim” sounds like it’ll be another great track on here and has the potential to be, but the chorus is very hollow and makes the song come off rather weak.
But the real kick in the face that this album presents is not until the very last two tracks. “When No One Cares” and “Would You” are, hands down, the best tracks off the album, and clearly are exactly what the band intended to do with the release. These tracks, that verge on material their earlier releases would have, feature some impressive guitar work, much better guitar solos, and all around sound more solid, tighter, and memorable then just about everything else on here.
The lighter sound on many of the tracks, especially the starter tracks “Forsake When I Believe” and “Shiver”, amongst others, does wind up hurting the band a bit while they try to continue bringing in this overwhelming “epic” aura to their music. It’s not until about half way into the album where the music really picks up, with exception of “Cross the Line” earlier on. Had there been more tracks like “Ahimsa”, or even “The Final Stages of Decay”, which perfectly seems to execute what the band intended for many of the longer tracks, then Memorial Roots would have been a great album from start to finish.
01. Forsake What I Believe – 6:31
02. Shiver – 3:17
03. The Conjuction of 7 Planets – 6:34
04. Cross the Line – 5:01
05. Nailed Down Dreams – 5:37
06. Blood Still Stains – 4:10
07. Ahimsa – 4:21
08. The Final Stages of Decay – 6:27
09. Victim – 4:16
10. When No One Cares – 3:19
11. Would You – 5:11
|Overall Score: 6/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by AFM Records via Earsplit PR.