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Memoira - Memories, Tragedies, Masquerades

Memoira – CD Review
Memories, Tragedies, Masquerades



CD Info
Nightmare Records
11 tracks
English lyrics

I don't know how I stumbled upon Memoira, but it was a few years back after the release of their debut album, Memoira, in 2008. Back then, Jemina Pitkälä was on vocals, but she left the band and I thought, since I had heard nothing from Memoira is quite a long time, that perhaps the band had gone inactive. But lo and behold, they have just come roaring back with a new vocalist, Kati Rentala, and a new album entitled Memories, Tragedies, Masquerades, a power metal/prog release that totally reminded me of why I liked this band to begin with and that shows yet again that Fins produce some of the best metal in this genre.

Packed with heavy hitting riffs, powerful melodies, and the super strong vocal performance of Kati, who has a different style than Jemina but is a more than adequate replacement, Memories, Tragedies, Masquerades really impressed me with its complexity and its tight, robust compositions. Top that off with hooky choruses and we have an album here that can easily compare with some of the top acts out there on the scene right now.

The opener, “Recoil” whallops us from the start with crushing riffs and an energetic pace. Here we are first introduced to Kati's voice, which is of a lower range than I am used to but no less competent. She is more of a straight up rock vocalist, but she pounds out the tunes on this release like the blazes. She can definitely compete with some of the big voices in the genre.

“Failure to Commit” the second song, continues the pace and heaviness of “Recoil”. There are some male vocals backing Kati up in this song. What starts to become clear at this early point is the talent of the guitarists, Jani Puusa and Marko Heurlin. I'm not sure who is lead and who is rhythm, but either way, they are both talented at their instruments. There are some fantastic guitar solos in here, and the riffs are unique, crisp, and create that “wall of sound” effect we metal heads just love.

Also of note is the keyboardist, Lassi Nuolivaara . He shines in a lot of songs, providing gorgeous melodies and even some keyboard solos, like in “Nightingale” and

Stand out songs for me on the album were aplenty. “Nightingale” a ballad – and I love a good ballad! - shows off some of Kati's higher register and she sings this song with a lot of passion and emotion. This is a big, lush song that sounds like it would be right at home on a movie soundtrack; it's that sweeping and epic. I also loved “Puppeteer”, which features a bit of a male vocal belting out a few lines. “Curtain Call” is another great song, with a jazzy section in the middle featuring a saxophone solo, followed by an epic guitar solo.

The longer this album goes on, the better it gets. While the beginning is strong, the more progressive elements of the music become more prominent as the album progresses. As the band says on it's web page, “MTM is all that we have gone through this past couple of years. Every bit of music breathes through those moments, in joy and sorrow. It’s a journey!” I think the progression evident on the album reflects this journey element very nicely, and adds to the album's overall complexity.

So this album is a winner for sure.  I am so pleased for this band that they reformed and came out with such an excellent piece of work, an album that shows improvement on a lot of levels, especially on the progressive side of things. Although I miss Jemina's sweeter tone a little bit, Kati fits the vocal bill amply and, incidentally, she co-produced the album. Memories, Tragedies, Masquerades is an intense ride – take it; you won't be disappointed. 


9.5 / 10