Mnemic - The Audio Injected SoulDenmark's Mnemic got great reviews on their debut disc, Mechanical Spin Phenomena. Their futuristic, heavy sound with thrashy, over the bar riffs, fast and technical drumming and angry vocals made the band sound like a weird crossbreed between Fear Factory, Meshuggah and Strapping Young Lad. I was so impressed with MSP in 2003, that I got skeptic about the fact that the band anounced that they would have a 2nd disc ready in 2004. You dont see many bands that "write a disc a year". As a band, you usually have years of work on your first disc, but everyone knows that a lot of creativity seems to have left the building when the second and third albums arrive. Anyways, lets see if Mnemic can show us that they are here to stay with The Audio Injected Soul.
One of the first things I noticed is that the melodic side of the band is more dominant on this record. This results into more melodic choruses and a bit more use of synths and samples. Good thing that they kept the vocals a bit raw, so luckily, no "Backstreets Boys" vocals on this disc. Stylewise the band hasn't changed much, although everything sounds like it flows together a bit more organically compared to MSP.
Best track on the disc is definitly Deathbox. Its slow, brooding intro erupts into a sort of blastbeat, followed by some great riffs and a catchy chorus to boot. Some other tracks I want to mention are Jack Vegas for its melodic guitarplaying that actually reminded me a bit of Guns 'n Roses. Door 2.12 has a great groovy feel to it, and some good sing-along spots as well. And of course, the cover of Duran Duran's Wild Boys, which turned out pretty damn cool!
As with MSP, this disc has an excellent production. An artificial 3d stereo mix has been used, and if you really listen to it with a headphone, you'll hear some cool tricks being played on you. It's not halfway as convincing as a real surround system or Dolby Headphone for that matter, but hey, it's neat.
In the end, I will say that I am a bit dissapointed about this record. In my opinion it could have been better. Some songs tend to drag on a bit and if I were the boss, I would have scratched some melodies in favour of some heavier riffs. The Audio Injected Soul somehow misses that "new" and edgy feel that MSP had. Sometimes you get the idea that you've heard it before. But fortunately, it has enough positive moments to outweigh the negative ones.
1 - Dreamstate Emergency
2 - Door 2.12
3 - Illuminate
4 - Deathbox
5 - Sane Vs. Normal
6 - Jack Vegas
7 - Mindsaver
8 - Overdose in the Hall of Fame
9 - The Silver Drop
10 - Wild Boys