MEMORAIN - Evolution
September 18, 2012, 6 years ago
Maple Metal Records
MEMORAIN create strong melodies with bouts of aggression on its sophomore effort, Evolution. Founded by Greek guitarist Ilias Papadakis in 1999, Memorain also consists of drummer Gene Hoglan (TESTAMENT, FEAR FACTORY, ex-DARK ANGEL, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD), bassist Steve DiGiorgio (SADUS, ex-DEATH, ICED EARTH, TESTAMENT), guitarist Ralph Santolla (OBITUARY, ex-DEICIDE, ICED EARTH) and vocalist Chris Valagao (ZIMMERS HOLE, WEST OF HELL). This “supergroup” of sorts is an experienced, collective thrash unit, where each member offers their unique skills while getting the chance to shine individually. The throaty vocal delivery of Valagao utilizes his dynamic range against chugging thrash riffs, melodic leads and a precision rhythm section. DiGiorgio gets to show off his fretless-bass prowess, most notably on ‘Scratching the Surface (5th Hour)’ and ‘Destiny Found.’ Hoglan is an absolute metronome on the drum kit and guitarists Papadakis and Santolla chug and shred at the most opportune times. Some of the 12 tracks run rather long in the tooth, but for the most part, they flow rather nicely and never out stay their welcome. Evolution includes a stellar cast of guest musicians such as David Ellefson (MEGADETH), Tim "Ripper" Owens (ex-JUDAS PRIEST, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ICED EARTH), Jeff Waters (ANNIHILATOR) and others. As good as Evolution is at times, it’s not something that sticks to the brain that much, but Memorain turns in a decent effort nonetheless.