Southern Texas metallers Memphis May Fire has released their new album ‘Challenger’, an album full to the brim with barking and soaring melodic vocals, thundering drums and of course plenty of breakdowns, it’s an impressive album. Part of the supposed ‘Risecore’ sound that a few bands have adopted they certainly stand out and give other bands a run for their money with this latest album.
As the album kicks in with the visceral lyrics “This is who we are, these are the roads we paved, the strength we found in the mistakes we made along the way” on the song ‘Without Walls’ it sets the tone of what’s to come on the rest of the album.
Songs like ‘Vices’ are heavy yet catchy at the same time, the flow of heavy breakdowns into what has to be the albums catchiest chorus is great. The riffs, guitar harmonies and drums are fast, catchy and heavy and flow thickly throughout the song. ‘Generation: Hate’, ‘Legacy’ and ‘Alive In The Lights’ are all heavy and scattered with guitar harmonies mixed, any fans of the bands previous album ‘The Hollow’ will be happy to hear the same sound shines through on these tracks.
With guest vocals from Kellin Quinn and Danny Warsnop both songs are good but not quite good enough to really stand out from the rest of the album. Danny Warsnops vocals on ‘Losing Sight’ are not strong enough to make an impression, he sings a few clean lines and finishes with a growl and that’s it, mixing his voice into the song more would have made it really stand out. ‘Miles Away’ featuring Kellin is a slower affair with a slow drum beat and a some jazz guitar licks running through the song it’s a good break from the heavy songs, Kellin’s vocals are great as they finish the last minute of the song off well.
‘Red In Tooth And Claw’ shows promise and progression of their sound as the guitar work in the song is heavy and melodic, with guitar melodies and a southern feel guitar solo halfway through the song it’s a standout song. The album finishes with the song (if you can call it that) ‘Vessels’ which is a slow, soft piano led song mixed rainfall in the background it leads to a crescendo of orchestral sounds to finish the album well.
To sum up the album what the band have created is what some people could say is ‘The Hollow Part 2’ which can be justified as songs off this album could easily fit well on their previous album. But with the songs like ‘Red In Tooth And Claw’ and ‘Vices’ sounding heavier and more harmonic the band sound great. With frontman Matty Mullins vocals sounding at its best this album is not a giant leap musically for the band but a definite step up from their last album. And with a support slot on fellow metalcore ‘Of Mice & Men’s’ next UK tour in October the band will certainly impress and gain some more fans with this album.
‘Challenger’ by Memphis May Fire is out now on Rise Records.
Words by Aaron Wilson.