Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Memoira
Memoira

Female-fronted melodic/melancholic gloom metal from Finland ring any bells for you? Lo, lest ya be thinking like yer errant scribe here of Lacuna Coil and turgid Evanesence and other bands that scarcely skim across your consciousness on the odd occasion you flick through Kerrang! while yer mate pays for their shopping, this is more worthy and displays much more promise than pitiful pouts. The metal element is met by chugging guitars that seem there to keep the boys busy – note the potentially pulveristic riff-pillars on Destiny Of Yours and Amortization that end up squashed and emasculated, deprived of their ability to let loose under faceless chasms of processed sound pillows and so sneak about the edges of industrial wastelands like curious children on their first time out in the big city without parental guidance. The graceful keyboards and string-synths provide a lustrous sweep, thankfully largely adding an alluring poise not a horrendous prat-fall into eighties atrocities of Asia and Magnum, that you could ice-skate to but then, like Torvill and Dean, it becomes somewhat sexless, especially sections such as Experimenters Farewell that conjure Ray Of Light where that Madonna invented EBM, or occasionally even T’Pau’s Carol Decker, no mean feat given her voluminous warble. Overall it ends up becoming a bit formless though without shape-shifting and is bereft of a vital presence. Putting the guitars to the stake would be an interesting experiment, a stripped-down candle-lit session of macabre frolics sorta like Stevie Nicks covering The Sisters Of Murky’s 1959 (not that she sounds like Ms Nicks but it’s a nice vision for one’s peripheral planes though that Jennifer Charles lass from Elysian Fields would be more like it, maybe wreathed in Stevie’s shawl) or a duet with Rob Vitacca from Lacrimas Profundere, as sections that really combine and combust to hint at transformations like segments of Haunted and Half Alive where Jemina Pitkala’s vocals suggest the ethereal nursery rhyme coo of Curve’s Toni Halliday, invoke visions of future banquets erupting into more sumptuous and sinicious feasts. As it is though, its striving for icy grandeur remains more soporific, more sullen than seductive, however pleasingly it stares at times. Stu Gibson

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