From the opening barrage of technical drum work and non-stop guitar riffery on "Dreamstate Emergency", it's clear that Denmark's Mnemic is ready to take no prisoners on their second release The Audio Injected Soul. The band has crafted a sound that hints at Meshuggah, Soilwork, Fear Factory, and a little bit of In Flames, as they mix aggressive death metal with bits of industrial, metalcore, and intricate progressive metal, for a sound that is heavy, intelligent, yet accessible.
While the entire band is extremely talented on their instruments, drummer Brylle is the standout, as his gymnastic drum work on tracks like "Door 2.12" or the catchy "Illuminate" is simply stellar. Singer Michael (yes, they go for short names here) fluctuates from melodic clean vocals to growling shouts throughout the CD, used most effectively on songs like the aforementioned "Illuminate" or the brutal "Deathbox", a raging metal track that combines thunder with electronics for a truly space age metal sound. A similar futuristic sound is heard on "Sane vs. Normal", a song that combines Meshuggah-like intense guitar riffs with manic screams, processed clean spoken passages, and spacey keyboards.
The second half of the CD rocks even harder than the first, evidenced by heavy cuts like "Jack Vegas", complete with thunderous guitar riffs and a catchy chorus, or the Pantera-like intensity of "Mindsaver". The two guitar players, Rune and Mircea, churn out waves of crushing guitar chords, at times slightly on the technical side, but it would have been nice to hear a solo here and there. This is song based metal, as these guys are not looking to hit you with flash and show off their talents other than as a complete ensemble. I can certainly commend them for that, but here's hoping on their next release they stretch out a bit and show us some chops, as I think Mnemic can capture a prog-metal audience given the right material to display those talents that they obviously have.
Oh, and I failed to mention that the band does a scorching cover of Duran Duran's "Wild Boys", littered with electronics, hammering guitar chords, and strong vocals from Michael. Fun stuff!
1) The Audio Injection
2) Dreamstate Emergency
3) Door 2.12
6) Sane vs. Normal
7) Jack Vegas
9) Overdose in the Hall of Fame
10) The Silver Drop
11) Wild Boys