Mnemic - Passenger review
|Release date:||February 2007|
02. In The Nothingness Black
06. In Control
07. Electric I'd Hypocrisy
08. Stuck Here
09. What's Left
10. Shape Of The Formless
11. The Eye On Your Back
12. Zero Synchronized [Japanese bonus]
After two successful releases by Mnemic, "Passenger" came next, featuring the newly added Guillaume Bideau (formerly of "Scarve") to the line-up, who replaced the acclaimed Michael Bøgballe as the band's vocalist. Michael's departure left most fans wondering how the band's approach to their unique sound would be affected and "Passenger" only brings those doubts to light.
The CD starts out promising with an intense opening track entitled "Humanaut", followed by an even more intense "In the Nothingness Black". The first single taken from this release, "Meaningless", comes next. At this point, the slamming feel of the album takes an awkward, and misplaced, turn toward a more melodic, grooving sound. That feel continues through the next few songs, as well as a lack of technicality. Aside from Guillaume's vocals the other parts become boring, and almost seem stretched out. A perfect example of such would be the bridge in "Pigfuck". At other spots the tempo seems to drag along due to the slow guitar riffs. But all is not lost! The once-expected feel of Mnemic suddenly comes stomping back with "Stuck Here", a song that suggests the musicians of the band haven't completely given up on their signature Industrial/Melodeath sound.
One of the few positive points of Mnemic's new sound would have to be the increased melody that was carried over and heightened from "The Audio Injected Soul", which is executed well. If you're a fan of technical melodic Death Metal, this is an average album to check out. With plenty of industrial undertones, and the melodic chorus', "Passenger" doesn't disappoint from this aspect.
Another positive note is Guillaume. On this release it's almost as if he's holding his band mates noses slightly above the water with his fine-tuned vocals. Anyone sceptical about his abilities after hearing his performances with Scarve would be pleasantly surprised at how talented he really is. He has a good range when singing cleanly, and he does an excellent job at changing the sound of his screams very frequently throughout the album.
The production value, as a whole, is near perfect. Produced by Christian Olde Wolbers of "Fear Factory" and Warren Riker, and mixed by Tue Madsen, the sound quality is one of the few highlights of the entire album, as should be expected when listening to an album that passed through Tue's studio. If anything, the sound quality is the only reason to listen to give it a listen if you haven't already.
All said and done, this is a disappointing and below-average release. The once aggressive, technical and extreme sound Mnemic portrayed on "Mechanical Spin Phenomena" and "The Audio Injected Soul" seems all but lost after the departure of Michael, which leaves behind a band that sounds generic and unmotivated to continue down the path they were previously on.
If there are any highlighted songs on this album they would have to be "In the Nothingness Black", "Electric I'd Hypocrisy", "Stuck Here", and "The Eye on Your Back".
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