Reviews Memphis May Fire Challengers

Memphis May Fire

Challengers

Ever since their debut full length, Sleepwalking, Memphis May Fire have departed from the southern tinged metalcore they were known for, and instead have adopted a more straight forward approach to the genre. This move had alienated a large portion of their audience, and obscured their identity in the process. But fortunately this change in sound has been fully realized on Challengers, taking a very dark, chaotic turn in Memphis’ career.

In many ways, it’s not far off from their last full length, The Hollow, only much more refined, while maintaining a diverse moody soundscape. Memphis hardly settles on any particular style or sound, blasting through several subgenres in a matter of minutes, but it all blends into each other masterfully, not letting up long enough to become repetitive or dull. This assault on the listener’s attention span can be a bit much at times, but the well structured choruses and some minor melodic experimentation provide enough of a break from their relentless pace.

A lot of fans were surprised at just how heavy The Hollow truly was, catching an entire scene by surprise, but Challenger ups the ante once again, accompanied by a very dark atmopshere. It consists of an abundance of intricate chugging patterns and breakdowns, with a familiar orchestrated style of keys and programming that bands seems to be embracing more often these days, reminiscent of label mates Dream On Dreamer. But there is still more than enough innovative guitar noodling here to keep any of you aficionados pleased. These more technical riffs are actually quite creative, showing the bands still out to expand their sound, but this freedom doesn’t always pay off, and one track in particular stands out as a serious miss.

"Legacy", an obscure song found near the middle of the album, was really off putting for me. While the core of the song is quite good, the keys often create a sort of Arabian feel, with a strange lead and tone played through-out the track. I wish I could commend the band for taking risks with songs, but this track killed the dark ambient atmosphere the album had been cultivating, really taking me out of the experience.

Outside of this small issue, I really couldn’t find many faults with Challenger. It may not offer anything new to the genre, resembling the majority of Rise Records’ releases, but they’ve at least the sense to do things right, offering without a doubt one of the best heavy albums of the year.

8.5 / 10Chad Raynard
Advertisement
RevHG - banner
Leave a comment

Rise

2012

8.5 / 10

8.5 / 10

Share this content
Advertisement
Radio K
Recent reviews

Botanist

VI: Flora

9.0 / 10 Botanist - VI: Flora album cover

The whole concept of one-man black metal projects is quite old. From back in the ‘90s you would have acts like Burzum and Ildjarn (although they would feature also Nidhogg ...

Steve Adamyk Band

Dial Tone

8.0 / 10 Steve Adamyk Band - Dial Tone album cover

This is Dirtnap Records.Not to pigeonhole anybody, but man does Steve Adamyk Band hit on that pop structure, garage chaos element that defines the label.Dial Tone is the fourth full-length ...

Various Artists

Balsa/Sei Hexe - Split EP

6.0 / 10 Various Artists - Balsa/Sei Hexe - Split EP album cover
200 Words Or Less

Two bands hailing from the US Northwest bring a Metalcore filled split from String Break Records. Seattle's, Balsa, take control of the first half with three tracks, while Portland's all-female ...

Related news

MP3s Free summer sampler from Bullet Tooth Records

Posted June 1, 2013, 8:45 a.m.

It's already June and Bullet Tooth is offering a free 2013 summer sampler featuring select cuts from their roster. The comp includes unreleased songs from Serianna and The Smoking ...

x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.