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Memory Driven : Relative Obscurity

I really did try to get into this. I played the CD about ten times but still it won't sink in and for those reasons my first judgment will also be the one you’re about to read. I read a couple of reviews of this record trying to grasp something that just wouldn't come. Most people appreciated the record but also warned it was one of those "growers" that unveils most of its charms in the long run. I may assume I'm way beyond the introductory phase and by now it’s love it or leave it. I’ll leave it.

Memory Driven. Well quite a fitting name if you ask me. You have four guys in their late mid-thirties or already on the slippery slope of their forties that try to reminisce about their glorious teen years. Their myspace page says it all. Take a look at all the influences they cite and what you get is basically a mixture of all these bands, some of them more prominently than others.

Remember the glorious years of Hard Rock in the early 90s? When Pearl Jam or Soundgarden would go multi-platinum and no one would have given a damn about watered down Hip Hop wannabe gangsters? That’s where most of Memory Driven's music is taking influence. Think big successes like Alice In Chains, Tool or The Cult and you have about 90% of what makes Relative Obscurity.

Dennis Cornelius, of Revelation and Doomstone fame, is very much reminiscent of Alice in Chains’ vocalist Layne Staley. His vocals are so much similar to Staley’s that even the chorus-like effect used on them feels like Dirt worship except for the few inflections a la Maynard James Keenan.

As for the music itself, you get something of a mix between light Stoner Rock and Grunge with a few Progressive hints that vaguely resemble Baroness. We’re far from dealing with a strictly Doom Metal band and only the vague resemblances in sound with bands like YOB or Kyuss grant them just enough “Doom” to make it here. Mark my words, I’m not writing their music sucks, it’s just I find it barely and remotely Doom. Oh well… I guess if you hadn’t had enough of records like Undertow or Dirt, or even Sonic Temple, if you’ve still got a thing for teen angst, you should enjoy most of the tracks.

I still have a question though. Here we are with a just above average record that you’d gladly play when drinking a beer or two with your own pals but something else comes and ruins the yet-not-so-fantastic feeling you had about the band… What the hell were they thinking about when adding these awkward "ambient" outros?! Not just one or two a la lazy Nine Inch Nails outros… no… outros for each and every song! What’s even worse is that they don’t have any relation with the songs in any way. It’s like some guy had these tracks all along and decided to paste them after every song… It’s just terrible and most certainly part of the repulsion and the dislike this 'relative' record inspires in me.

If you’re immune to or even crave such oddities, if you haven’t had your good share of Grunge or just weren’t born during the 90s, chances are you could even like this record. Being only me, I’ll pass on this one and stick on playing the aforementioned classics rather than trying to remember them through this album.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Super Nova
2. Nonprofundi
3. Is There Something There?
4. Heavens Vast
5. Moment
6. Ostrakon
7. Surface Oblivion
8. Melt Into
9. Forever Lasting Sadness
10. The 13th Baktum
11. The End Of Truth

Duration : Approx. 61 minutes

Visit the Memory Driven bandpage.

Reviewed on 23-06-2010 by Frédéric Cerfvol
Forever Autumn
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