In recent years, France has become quite the hotbed for truly impressive and experimental acts. From the likes of big players like Gojira to the sheer beauty of Alcest and the complete oddity of Trepalium, France’s musical scene has come on leaps and bounds in recent times. On this, the band’s second full length (besides two EPs), Memories Of A Dead Man also warrant your attention.
Memories Of A Dead Man specialise in a unique brand that combines the down-tuned and bass heavy sound of post metal acts with the atmospheric side and tormented vocal approach of post hardcore with touches of ambience and even subtle hints to Meshuggah sounding grooves in parts which creates a relatively unique sound. One that works rather well in fact despite the confused nature the description may suggest. In fact for the most part “V.I.T.R.I.O.L” flows very well. Arguably this sounds like a band that haven’t completely nailed and developed their sound perfectly but they do show real signs of potential.
There are some flaws however that could be addressed. Vocally for example, even though for the most part are very suitable and decent, the growls are a bit one-dimensional, and the cleaner parts are sometimes limp and even grate (best example of this is at the beginning of “Good Mourning Child”, where Pierre adopts a chant like technique which does not come off well). The 7 minute largely instrumental track at the end, “INRI” as well, although stylistically interesting with atmospheric keyboard parts for example, does seem a bit unnecessary. Other than a few niggles however “V.I.T.R.I.O.L” is an impressive feat. A rather challenging listen at first, and it may take a couple of listens to fully engage with, but a rewarding listen when given time. Memories Of A Dead Man show real potential on this album, and could become ones to watch for.