Memento Mori

Songs for the Apocalypse, Vol. 4

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The fourth and final offering from Memento Mori, Songs for the Apocalypse, Vol. 4 marks the return of ex-Candlemass vocalist Messiah Marcolin to the group's lineup and a subtle musical shift back toward the doom style of the singer's former mates. But neither this nor any other Memento Mori release qualifies as doom metal exactly. It all plays more like mid- to slow-tempo power metal, with Marcolin's excessively dramatic vibrato and guitarist Mike Wead's harmonic riffing. New drummer Tom Bjorn joins up with longtime bassist Marty Marteen to make a tighter low-end noise that supports the higher-register workouts of Marcolin, Wead, and second guitarist Nikkey Argento nicely. The songwriting is competent and the performances are also fine, but Marcolin's dramatic howling might be too much for some. While the vocal problems aren't unique to this record, it's rather disappointing as Wead and company seem to get their sound together on tracks like "One Sign Too Many" and "Out of Darkness." Perhaps the best record from a marginal '90s metal outfit, Songs for the Apocalypse, Vol. 4 will only interest metal completists.

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