Review: “Memoir” by Kneel Before The Death

“EP was created during last couple of years. As a band we explored some new methods to write music and searched for an inspiration from new kind of sources. We want to make our sound bigger and more distinctive but so that we sound like a band. So the orchestrations have became as an essential part of our sound. Combining elements from electronic music to orchestrations we aim to create a kind of theatrical atmosphere. This EP shows the direction that we are going towards musically also in the future. In my opinion Memoir EP continues from the point that the previous release ‘Miserere Mei’ ended. The new EP has three tracks that are each different but all of them include the core elements of Kneel Before The Death’s sound: massive orchestrations, strong melodies and heavy riffs.” ~ Guitarist Niko Lappalainen

Taking fate into their own hands, “Memoir” was recorded and produced by Kneel Before The Death themselves before being mixed and mastered by Jonathan Thorpenberg (The Unguided) and adorned by cover artwork and visuals created by their drummer and co-founder Konsta Vihavainen. A Helsinki Finland based Extreme Metal act whose roots can be traced back to 2013, Vihavainen is joined by guitarist Niko Lappalainen, with bassist Joonas Peltonen and singer Aatu Kovanen and while their original sound was loosely based on Progressive Death Metal with Deathcore flourishes they have evolved to create music with touches of the Symphonic, Programming and even Black Metal. Their last offering, single “Miserere Mei” was mixed and mastered by Swedish Death Metal legend Fredrik Nordström (Architects, Bring Me The Horizon) back in 2018.

Four years maybe a long time in anyone’s book and while “Memoir” does sound like a continuation of the sound Kneel Before The Death created with “Miserere Mei” it also sounds like the epic and triumphant return of a Medieval King thought lost to the crusades, arisen from the ashes, renewed and prepared to fight once more. From the melancholic opening strains of “Lust” through a powerful Black Metal inspired percussive performance, Vildhjarta inspired riffs and icy symphonics, its clear that a powerful monolithic beast has arisen from the black depths, awoken from the slumber with fire and fury in its eyes and ready to destroy all in its path. Kovanen’s vocals are venomous and scalding over the juddering angular staccato riff attack of “Sunken” that does clearly have Deathcore roots but has evolved so much further that it beggars belief. The Tech-Metal lead parts are jaw dropping and leave the listener crying out for more when the epic cinematic synths take over in a similar fashion to the recent works of Lorna Shore with rich complexities that bring you back time and again. Put simply this is quality over quantity, the sonic equivalent of Michelin Star restaurant servings whereby everything has been smoothed or sharpened to heighten the senses and with greater texture and depth to the skull battering finale “Depth, Devour Me” which itself has stunning sweeping lead parts, this is pure dark majesty in its finest form [8.5/10]

Track listing

1. Lust
2. Sunken
3. Depth, Devour Me

Memoir” by Kneel Before The Death is out now via Inverse Records and is available over at bandcamp

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