Death-grinders’ Memoriam have a totally crushing opus in ‘The Silent Vigil’, the difficult second album.

These guys from the steely streets of Birmingham, England had an incredible release in their debut album ‘For the Fallen’ but in what is often the difficult second album, Willets and the boys make ‘Silent Vigil’ sound almost effortless, like it’s in their blood, and have come up with the goods in spades!

Memoriam is a conglomeration of ex-Bolt Thrower – vocalist Karl Willets and drummer Andrew Whale –and Benediction – in bassist Frank Healy and guitarist Scott Fairfax. These veterans of metal bring their collective several decades to this band where it shines ominously.

The band emanated to fill the void that was left following the tragic death of Martin “Kiddie” Kearns, the drummer from Bolt Thrower, in September 2015 just prior to an Australian tour.

Bolt Thrower, who began in 1987 and had eight albums under their belt, was immediately placed on hold for the foreseeable future. Willetts took this opportunity to proceed on a project with friends to form a death metal covers band, of artists that have inspired them. Memoriam thus came to be – minus the covers.

Soulless Parasite is a killer opener for ‘Silent Vigil’ – the riffs (drumming and guitars) are totally punishing. Luckily it doesn’t stop here. Nothing Remains continues the quality, then From the Flames, Bleed The Same, As Bridges Burn, The New Dark Ages, and the totally epic No Known Grave. There are no dud tracks on ‘Silent Vigil’.

Weaponised Fear is a great slow grinding tune, with some great break out grinding and pounding groove riffs. This track is possibly reviewer’s fave in both the music and lyrics of the album. As the title offers, the lyrics are regarding fear itself – people who fear what’s different, the unknown, achieving, and of life itself. It urges you to overcome fear, Hear the silent calling, and Smash the glass ceiling.

The themes in Willets lyrics are reflective of issues like race, memory of fallen friends, war, fear, hatred, freedom, equality, justice and dementia. The sound retains the old school death metal grind sound, but also has influences of bands from their genre such as Slayer, Napalm Death, Suffocation, as well as hardcore and crust bands Discharge and Amebix.

Dan Seagrave again created this album’s artwork, having done the first album cover ‘For the Fallen’, of the mourning funeral march and continues the theme on this new album where the fallen lies in state and the mourners look on. Seagrave previously has done work for artists including Benediction, Hypocrisy, and Suffocation. 

‘Silent Vigil’ is a step forward for the band while still keeping its old school roots. It is deeper album on many levels in that this album more powerful and has more colour in the sounds, and lyrics.


You can pre-order the new album here: