As Memory Dies, and their latest release Transmutate revisits the recurring problem with much of modern metal: great music is nearly, if not completely, ruined by the use of horrible dirty vocals. In the case of As Memory Dies, a promising modern metal band from Italy, they pursue a creative version of melodic and technical (progressive is the more historic term) metal that intrigues and entertains through massive skilled arrangements.
The downside, of course, is that nearly 80 percent of the vocals are growling incomprehensible death metal. This gives cause to pause as vocalist Fabio Caruso, when singing clean, has a clear and pleasing style, (and the lyrics are generally intelligent). As always, I struggle to understand this necessity and basically settle the most jaded of reasons: everybody is doing it, and to gain acceptance and market viability, a modern metal band must do it. Frankly, creativity succumbs to the pressure of the marketplace. But I digress. Again.
Where As Memory Dies compels is in their provocative song composition. There are only seven tracks and five songs on Transmutate, with The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus being a trilogy at the end. With these lengthy songs, AMD has plenty of room to stretch their musical imagination. Eyeway to Identity, the opener, combines melody and complexity in movements of heaviness and subtlety, often driven by an interplay of bass and guitar. Ingenuity also rises on A Season of Failures which moves along with the twists and turns common of the very best progressive metal. Yet, the real gem on Transmutate may be the ambitious The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus where As Memory Dies brings their best musicianship (excepting the dirty vocals) to bear on the most courageous and varied arrangements.
Transmutate is clearly solid and inspiring stuff with the shear depth of their creative song composition putting most of their technical melodic metal peers to shame. Recommended (if you can bear the dirty death vocals).
As Memory Dies's Transmutate is clearly solid and inspiring stuff with the shear depth of their creative song composition putting most of their technical melodic metal peers to shame.