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Mnemocide - Feeding the Cultures - 92%

Edmund Sackbauer, February 12th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2020, CD, Czar of Crickets Productions (Digipak)

„Pure Death Metal“ is the slogan of Mnemocide, a pretty newish act based in Basel/Switzerland. Having been formed in 2017 they have released their debut EP “Debris” in 2018 and in 2020 they have followed up with their first full length titled “Feeding the Vultures”. I have stumbled upon this band via bass player Denge, who is also active in the trash metal outfit Total Annihilation. Said band has delivered one of the biggest thrash highlights of 2020 and as both outfits share the same label the responsible persons at Czar of Crickets Productions have once again proven that they have a great feeling for talent as we got another banger here.

Death metal has seen both stagnation and innovation over its more than three decades lasting history. And while some remain purists, others are open to more iterations. Where Mnemocide hit all the right notes is in their ability to bring out something that’s very traditional and old school at its core, yet offers a fresh and modern take on the classic formula. There is nothing really innovative or progressive in their approach, but while appearing to be pretty simple on the surface the music comes with some nice little twists and turns to keep things interesting over the whole playing time.

Mnemocide offer a ferocious yet measured delivery that captures the excellent qualities of straight forward death metal. Riffs combine organically with the laid-back yet intense drumming. Most songs are kept in mid-tempo and the music has a very groovy character, but also comes with an immense punch and a thick and dense wall of sound. The main chords are stoic and hitting hard, pushing the music forward in unstoppable manner like a tank. There is a certain monotony, but hints of melodic lead guitar work are subtly woven into the otherwise atonal framework and relentless rhythms. In parts the patterns remind of some of Bolt Throwers best moments, which can only be a positive thing.

There are nine full songs plus three intros/interludes, with all of the tracks being tightly written and performed. Mnemocide have some impressive technical skills at their disposal, but they are mainly interested in providing some well-structured and easily enjoyable straight-up death metal tunes. The guitars range from fiery bursts of US influenced power chords to twining minor key passages, and the soloing sections are compact and never too overwhelming. The drums follow suit with bursts of blasting freneticism followed by slower paced, clunky rhythms. The growling by singer Matthias perfectly complements the instrumentation.

The production has been done at Iguana studios, and the sound is pretty much flawless. Very punchy and dynamic, but not too synthetic. This is how death metal in 2020 has to sound. The digipack edition feels really valuable, and the artwork is minimalistic yet slick and elegant, while carrying subtle old school attributes. The lyrics cover themes of war, something that is quite common for this kind of death metal. However, the content is surprisingly intelligent, talking about the pointlessness of war and how there cannot be real winners at the end of the day. Overall “Feeding the Vultures” is an easy choice for fans of classic stompy and groovy death metal, and in case you are not familiar Mnemocide you should change this fact as these lads have produced one hell of an album here. Highly recommended!