Memorain - Evolution

Memorain - Evolution

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(CD, Maple Metal Records, 2012)

There are times I really cannot decide what to do with all these project-bands that show up, release an album and then get lost into oblivion. Although, the fruits of such collaborations are often great albums the zero probability of watching the recording lineup onstage kind of spoils the created enthusiasm. In any case, albums like the new MEMORAIN can trigger the metalhead’s creativity and let him form imaginary lineups and try to guess the musical outcome (that’s fun if you think about).

So, what has changed during the 6 years from the last MEMORAIN album? The answer is extremely easy since the band’s roster (lineup goes for the full time bands, I guess) features heavy names but to tell you the truth I was drawn to “Evolution” the moment I saw the names of Gene Hoglan and Chris Valagao who have worked together in ZIMMERS HOLE (check them if you don’t know the name).  Then I saw the guest-musicians list and I was immediately sold...

Yeah, I know sometimes super-groups or projects do not really work and sound fragmented without consistency based on a futile attempt to merge the different styles every guest brings on the table. In the case of MEMORAIN this does not happen and the music is solid and seems to carry a single character based on the groovy rhythm section (bass and drums are awesome) and the driving cutting riffs. Chris Valagao has a wide ranged voice with impressive power and characteristic timbre that is impossible not to recognize. His singing style fits like a glove to the modern groove Thrash of MEMORAIN that I’d bet an arm and a leg it came from the US but I would lose. You see, behind the driver’s seat is Greek guitarist Ilias Papadakis who also produced and mixed the album. Although, I liked “Evolution” in its entity, I gave more listening time to album opener “Nations On Fire” with the striking ZIMMERS HOLE references, “Misery” with the steamroller-like rhythm section and to “Rules Of Engagement” with Tim “Ripper” Owens and David Ellefson on the vocals and the bass, respectively. Of course and I liked the instrumental “New Era” with Jeff Waters’ trademark distortion and faster-than-light finger work but I’d prefer this with vocals since it would gain more power.

Yes, this is a project/album that I will revisit from time to time, especially if I need to blow some steam off the Thrash way. But can you resist and not picture this lineup onstage? Definitely worth of checking this, regardless of the guest names.





01. Nations On Fire
02. Where Hate Lies
03. The Break
04. Circle
05. Misery
06. Rules Of Engagement
07. Death Shop
08. Destiny Found
09. A New Era
10. Power Out
11. Scratching The Surface
12. Methods Of The Past


Steve DiGiorgio - Bass
Chris Valagao - Vocals
Ilias Papadakis - Guitars
Ralph Santolla - Guitars
Gene Hoglan - Drums

Carlos E. Perez - Lead Guitar (11, 12)
Laura Christine - Lead Guitar (8)
Marc Pattison - Lead Guitar (11)
Christian David Wentz - Lead Guitar (11)
Jeff Waters - Lead Guitar (9)
David Ellefson - Bass (6, 9)
Tim "Ripper" Owens - Vocals (6)
David Ellefson co-wrote song "Rules Of Engagement"