MNEMIC quickly became a favorite of mine after hearing their first two albums. Their unique Modern Metal style of blending unusual rhythms with bursts of energy and interesting synthetic elements just caught my attention. But alas, much has changed since their second release and the departure of vocalist Michael Bøgballe from their ranks is the center of it all. A blow to their unique sound I wondered if the band would be able to recover.
I shouldn’t have worried because the band bounced back by hiring Guillaume Bideau (who had been singing with French Modern Metallers SCARVE at the time). Although I still prefer Michael to Guillaume, his performance on “Passenger” is still a worthy endeavor and he does just as good of a job as anyone else could have. His singing, barking, roaring, and everything else in between fits quite well with the MNEMIC song writing and from the sound of it, Bideau has only been getting better with time.
But unfortunately, when compared to their first two albums the song writing on “Passenger” is just weaker in general. Still a solid release, there is just not as many memorable tracks like the previous releases. The style is still the same with the odd rhythm structures, dissonant melodic work, and lots of synthetic and mechanical sounding effects to keep the variation up. There is a lot less melody in general on this release as this album does take a darker tone musically with the vocal work bringing in most of the upbeat melodic parts.
Granted, I will give it to MNEMIC but “Passenger” does grow on you. My first listen to the album was one of disbelief. It took a few listens for me to get into it but eventually I did. It’s a good album but not great for MNEMIC. Fans of the band will enjoy it but not necessarily love it. It’s on the weaker side for the song writing but the performances are good and Bideau’s debut is pretty solid (and catchy). I’m just really curious to see where the band goes from this point.
Songs to check out: “Meaningless”, “Psykorgasm”, “Electric I’d Hypocrisy”
(Online September 27, 2008)