Although the release of their first album, “Mechanical Spin Phenomena”, garnered them quite a bit of attention from the Heavy Metal press, it came out to a wide range of reactions and criticisms. Although I personally loved the album, it’s not a shock that people had such a wide variety of replies to the album. What I didn’t see coming is that the band would change their sound for their second album, “The Audio Injected Soul”, which might have been aptly named ‘The Melody Injected MNEMIC’.
“The Audio Injected Soul” takes that MNEMIC brand of Modern Metal from the first album and throws so much more melody into it that at times it’s hard to tell it is the same band. It’s not like the first album was missing melody from its ranks by any means, but the band has pushed their wide range even further on the album. Making some of the more harsh and brutal times even more extreme and counterbalancing it with even more melody.
This new layer to the music fits the style quite well though. It misses some of that punch that I loved from the band earlier on, but so many of these songs are even catchier now. Sing-a-long choruses and other great vocal melodies from Michael Břgballe steal much of the show on the album with his unique vocals and quick switches from singing to his barking roar. But the classic MNEMIC use of odd rhythms and song structures is accentuated by the melody too. So with stellar performances from the band (particularly Mircea Eftemie on guitars and Brian Rasmussen on the drums) this comes off with some very solid sounding presentations.
But it’s not the performances that hinder this album, but the new focus and songwriting. Although it’s catchy as hell and still quite well written, it seems as though their new approach may have simplified some of the layering and depth of the songs. Which doesn’t necessarily hurt the band at all, it’s just different from what I expected and slightly weaker than their predecessor.
“The Audio Injected Soul” is still quite the follow-up to their amazing debut and this is definitely a band to keep an eye on in the future. Their brand of Modern Metal and its unique flavoring will continue keeping me coming back for more. Also listen to this album on headphones if you can as some of the sound movement (check out “Deathbox” for sure) is super cool as it sounds like it moves around your head.
Songs to check out: “Door 2.12”, “Deathbox”, “Jack Vegas”.
(Online October 29, 2008)