Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The M.E.M.O.R.Y. Lab CD Reviewed @ Exclaim Magazine

If The M.E.M.O.R.Y. Lab's take on industrial metal feels a bit dated that's because it is ― ten years old, in fact, though the band's newly released album channels an even older sound and attitude. Recorded analogue in 1999 and digitally remastered in 2009, these eight tracks reel out like a late '80s/early '90s mash-up of industrial, goth and extreme metal highlights. The distorted chug of percussive guitar chords undercuts layers of synthetic textures. Claustrophobic melodies play against frenetic blips, metallic clanks or a heavy bass beat. Loops and samples weave around vocal lines that alternate between eviscerations and an atonal snarl. The basic matrix stays consistent throughout the record but the inspirations shift, a stable core anchoring a schizophrenic repertoire that's part tribute and part answer. The M.E.M.O.R.Y. Lab's members have gone on to other things ― sound design, engineering and production (Marc Urselli), art restoration and set design (Nicola Curri) ― or are known in connection with other bands, so this album archives an ephemeral moment, one worth waiting a decade to hear. -Laura Wiebe Taylor, EXCLAIM

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