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Mediocre and monotonous - 40%

Sean16, March 9th, 2006

It’s the only work I know from Memory Garden, and quite frankly I don’t feel like checking their later stuff. By listening to this EP one has clearly the impression that the band has listened to the whole Black Sabbath and Candlemass discography and then has thought something like “wow, now let’s play doom metal like them!”.

Unfortunately reducing doom metal to slow riffs and down-tuned guitars is as childish and senseless as reducing death metal to growls and blastbeats, or black metal to raw production and shrieks. But this act seems to have forgotten you need at least a bit of talent or imagination to play metal, and of course they can’t hold a candle to Candlemass (sorry for the stupid pun). These four songs simply lack of LIFE, and while My Dying Bride manages to play ten minutes long songs which sound like they lasted only four minutes, Memory Garden records on this opus four minutes long songs which seem to last ten minutes. To sum up, this EP is monotonous as fuck.

At least the first track, Warlord, shows some tempo changes, as it progressively speeds up, and actually may evoke some (mediocre) Candlemass piece of work. But the two following songs only consist in the same slow, painful, boring down-tuned guitarwork, and really give the impression that each track on this EP is built on the same three chords, what I seriously think is not far from truth. Fortunately the last song, Autumn Anguish, introduces a bit of variety, sounding closer to slow power / traditionnal metal than actual doom metal, exhibiting indeed an acoustic intro which might be the best part of this album, which is not saying much.

However the worst element of this rather uninteresting work is undoubtedly the singer. His voice might show some analogies with Messiah Marcolin of Candlemass (again), that means, if Marcolin couldn’t sing properly of course. The guy not only sings in remarkably mediocre clean vocals with a remarkably narrow range, turning to a complete ear-scorching massacre as soon as he tries to sound more high-pitched, but he seems to sing exactly the same vocal lines on each of the four songs, because I guess it is the only thing he is able to do, and this certainly accounts for fifty percent of the monotony of this EP, whose sole quality may be to last only 18 minutes.

To conclude on a somewhat positive (?) note, the production of this album is rather decent and there is nothing really UNLISTENABLE on it. Of course it’s far from being sufficient to make a decent record: just forget it.