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EP review: Memoreve – ‘Insignia”

EP review: Memoreve – ‘Insignia”

There are a number of possible reactions when you hear the term, ‘progressive metal’. There’s the inevitable eye roll from those that believe that a three minute, instantly forgettable dirge, thrown up by commercial radio is the way to go. Then there’s the ‘not enough singing’ group that go into a foetal position on the floor unless there’s a catchy chorus and the potential for a dance routine.

Then there are the fans of the genre that get excited when we hear that there is a new band in the mould of Symphony X and TesseracT. That’s cause for a minor fist pump. So it’s with delight we introduce you to Memoreve and their first EP called, Insignia’. The PR does go on to warble about the closeness in sound to the almighty Marillion but we are solidly in Symphony X and, occasionally, Dream Theater (sic) territory. So, big call – no pressure.

Insignia’ is four tracks in total giving about twenty five minutes of musical joy. First track is the title track and it’s a jangly start that makes you think we are swaying into Pineapple Thief territory. It’s atmospheric, with distant drums and wispy vocals. Interesting start, but in true prog fashion it’s all change for, ‘These Reflections’ which is a tight guitar riff and spaced out synth. There are enough timing changes to put FlyBe to shame . Vocally the performance is solid with the welcome vagueness of prog lyrics that are sung with enough angst that implies that if you could understand them you would be donning the anorak in moral support. There is so much going on in this track. It’s a monster in breadth and composition. Great track. Third track is, ‘Descendant’, which is a similar composition to the last track but more aggressive in the riffs and more spaced out in the synth lines. The drumming as intense as it has been since the off and punctuates the lyric and the melody. At seven minutes this is the longest track on the album but it’s another solid outing. All too soon we come to the final song and it’s, ‘Alleviate’ with less riff but more power. The vocal is much clearer, but the passion and drive is still there. There is a wash of noise through this track with guitar and synth, then the guitar pops out of the mix and pushes the vocal on.

As a prog fan, with more years that I care to discuss, it’s always a joy to come across such a confident debut. Memoreve have a concept album in there somewhere as their ideas are clearly much larger than this EP. The only word of caution would be that the last three tracks have a very similar format and, though enjoyable, there is a tendency for these to blend into a single track when playing live. This makes it difficult for the would-be fan to buy into the EP. However it’s a solid debut and I would encourage you to give it a go. For those that like to dip the digital needle before making a purchase then, ‘Alleviate’ is the pick of the bunch.

So Memoreve, six piece progressive metal band from the UK with a touch of TesseracT, Symphony X and vocals in the style of Periphery. So, get amongst it! The good news is that Memoreve are on tour in the UK in October and you can check them out at the following locations:

Thursday 20th October – Bannermans – Edinburgh
Friday 21st October – The Head Of Steam – Newcastle
Saturday 22nd October – The Asylum – Chelmsford

Review – Craig Grant

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