Heavy and aggressive, yet beautiful and hypnotic. This is an apt description for Your Memorial’s self titled EP. The metal music of Your Memorial is full of contrasting elements. Instead of pulling the music apart these elements come together to elevate it to something wonderful. The band has created five new, incredibly heavy songs filled with color, texture and contrasting dynamics.
Vocalist Blake Suddath spends a great deal of the EP with his voice dialed up to ten. His vocals are delivered with extreme aggression. There is no doubt that Suddath is giving everything that he has behind the microphone. Every word is delivered with maximum force. Guitarist Willie Weigel provides clean vocals and brings a bit of melody to the songs. The contrasting vocal styles brings a great deal of depth to the songs.
At times the music of Your Memorial is just as aggressive as Suddath’s vocals. The EP is filled with a variety of heavy, groove laden, palm muted guitar riffs. This is a band that is not shy about being a heavy metal band. There are heavy metalcore elements in the band’s music. But to strictly label them as a metalcore band is not a fair assessment. Your Memorial also mixes in influences from thrash metal, groove metal and post rock.
At times Your Memorial will musically flip the switch on the listener. There are some beautiful moments when the aggression falls away. Passages of dreamlike, cleanly played guitars fill the air. No distortion or testosterone fueled vocals, just a brief moment of calmness. There are other outstanding low key musical moments to be found. At times Willie Weigel has the opportunity to sing over some of the quieter sections. This of course sets the stage for Suddath’s raging return. These contrasting musical moments work to increase the dynamics of the heavy sections.
I would be doing the band a great disservice if I did not mention bassist Mike Helms and drummer Tommy Weigel. A band is only as good as its drummer. Tommy Weigel handles the drum grooves quite skillfully. Far too often singers and guitarists receive too much credit for a band’s success. I am taking nothing away from Suddath and Willie Weigel. Both band members are worthy of a great deal of praise for their efforts. However, it would be difficult for them to do what they do so well without the band’s other half. Helms and Tommy Weigel lay down tight grooves and rhythms that allow Suddath and Willie Weigel the freedom to effectively play their parts.
Self titled releases usually belong to a band’s debut release. For Your Memorial this is not the case. Their self titled EP is actually the band’s swan song. After this release and a final tour the band, after eleven years, will be disbanding. All good things must come to an end. For their final release the band has put together a collection of exception songs. Your Memorial will be going out on an extreme high note.
Troy Tennard is an executive writer for OmniGod Music.