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Memory Garden: Doomain

It surprises me to learn that Memory Garden describes itself as doom metal. This album is a highly melodic affair, one teeming with styles gleamed from progressive rock and even traditional 80s metal. As I listened, I thought that comparisons to Queensryche, maybe even Krokus, would make more sense than to more doom-oriented acts like Black Sabbath. Simply put, the music on this album is way too melodic to be considered doom. Memory Garden has been making music since the early 90s and has a knowing fan base. I'll leave it up to them to suggest what kind of metal this is.

All quibbling aside, this is a pretty good album, but it is too long and doesn't reach beyond itself very often. It sounds to me like the kind of album that comes out after a long absence, one that reveals a certain new spark in the songwriting, but one that isn't strong enough to become a mighty flame. For my money, the guitars were the best thing about this album. Check out tracks like "Latent Lunacy" or "The King of the Dead" for some nice crispy crunchy distortion. The low harmonies on "A Diabolical Mind" were good, too. I also thought the opening of the title track showcased guitar harmonies effectively. The guitar solos, peppered throughout the album, are also strong, though often less-than-inspired. I confess that I was less impressed with Stefan Berglund's vocals at times. He sounds fine for the most part, but plays up his vibrato too often and too much. At times, he even seems to stray from the main key or pitch. He has a strong voice, one that sometimes sounds like a cross between a young Geoff Tate and a young Marc Storace (Krokus), but he sounds better when he sings the lyrics without too much embellishment.

Track Listing:
1. Evangelist
2. Latent Lunacy
3. Daughters of the Sea
4. Barren Lands
5. Violate and Create
6. Doomain
7. The King of the Dead
8. A Diabolical Mind
9. Misfortune

Added: April 10th 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3233
Language: english

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