There are bands out there who keep doing the same trick over and over again. Mnemic previously released two awesome albums; Mechanical Spin Phenoma and The Audio Injected Soul. The band's sound changed a bit with every album but it never got far away from the clever Meshuggah-ish guitarwork, harsh vocals and impressive drumming. Does their newest iteration, the aptly named Passenger, break any boundaries for the band?
Biggest change is new vocalist Guillaume Bideau, who you might know from France's cyber-metalband Scarve. Bideau joined the group after Mnemic had to part with Tony Jelencovich, who again stept in because original vocalist Michael Bogballe left the band. Did it change anything? Yes it did! Bideau's capabilities definitely open up a whole new area. The use of melodic choruses expands the sound of the band in a positive way reminding me of some of the better moments of bands like Spineshank. The guy has a great voice for both screams and singing, his clean vocals still have that edge that make them cool instead of well, cliche.
Mnemic's polyrythmic-metal style didn't change all that much (read more about that in our reviews of their other albums) but it is clear that through the years the band's songwriting has become a more important factor. Whereas some of the songs on their first album might be based on crunching offtime guitarriffs, Passenger shines with songs with a good start, headbang-able verses and choruses that will get you to sing along. One of my main issues with The Audio Injected Soul was that it tended to drag on a bit, and on a first listen some of the tracks on Passenger might tend to sound alike (a lot songs seem to hoover around the same tempo), but it won't take much time before you'll be humming along just fine!
With Passenger, Mnemic manages to make their most coherent album to date; showcasing their musicianship and songwriting with excellent performances from all the band members. With the addition of Guillaume Bideau, the band took a step forward into a direction that can only get better!
2. In The Nothingness Black
6. In Control
7. Electric I'd Hypocrisy
8. Stuck Here
9. What's Left
10. Shape Of The Formless
11. Eye On Your Back, The
Guitar, keyboard - Mircea Gabriel Eftemie
Guitar - Rune Stigart
Bass - Tomas "Obeast" Koefod
Drums- Brian "Brylle" Rasmussen