Flyleaf
Memento Mori


3.0
good

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
November 9th, 2009 | 93 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The band make some adjustments to their alt. metal sound - some work and some don't.

Opening track, "Beautiful Bride", is a terrible song to open Memento Mori with. The riffs are boring, the vocals are lackluster, the hook is weak, and the group-singing near the end is awful. If that song was representative of the quality found on this album the band would have been in trouble. After a complete listen, though, it turns out that it is easily the worst track on the album and probably should have been completely omitted. Where that song’s riffs feel dull and lifeless, the rest of the album’s are chunky and energetic. Where Lacey’s vocals fall short on the opener, they excel everywhere else – and most importantly while “Beautiful Bride” is instantly forgettable, the rest of the album is full of strong hooks and entertaining songwriting. This is largely achieved by the band being content to simply make minor adjustments to the formula that worked so well on their debut. The unfortunate thing is that not all of these adjustments work, resulting in an album that is basically one step forward but two steps back.

The most noticeable modification is found in the removal of a majority of the aggressive moments in favor of a poppier undercurrent. This change actually works reasonably well as it enhances the strongest element of the band’s sound – the choruses. This means that while listeners aren’t going to find an equivalent to “I’m So Sick”, they are going to get a collection of memorable alt. metal songs that don’t sound as forced. Songs such as “Missing” even go so far as to almost take a page from Paramore in its upbeat, chorus-driven direction. When the band focuses on Lacey’s vocals and the power of their hooks it often leads to some of the strongest songs of the album – it’s when they go back to the grittier alt. metal of their debut that they begin to waver.

It’s obvious that some effort was made to develop the riffs and melodies beyond the simple forms they contained on the debut, but it doesn’t always seem to work. First and foremost, they aren’t nearly as instant as they were on the debut which often lessens the impact these heavier songs may have had. The lack of instant riffs wouldn’t be horrible if they simply required a bit more time and attention to click, but that’s not the problem. The issue is that they sometimes just sound awkward and disjointed. When this is combined with melodies that don’t gel with the rest of the music (see “This Close”), it results in songs that seem to falter and languish. That’s not to say that all of the riffs are bad, because quite a few of them work quite well, only that when they don’t it can get pretty bad.

It seems that Flyleaf made their best attempt at avoiding the sophomore slump, but that they didn’t quite succeed. The band’s removal of a large majority of the pseudo-aggressive moments was probably for the best and their embrace of a poppier angle really took quite a few of these songs to another level, but other adjustments weren’t quite so positive. There are just a few riffs and grating melodies that spoil what could have been an album that was at least as strong as its predecessor. As it is, though, this is still a good album that contains more than enough for fans to hold on to, but also enough for them to be disappointed about.



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user ratings (298)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
pizzamachine (3)
in the middle of nowhere....

Xelis (2.5)
Memento Mori is let down by unimaginative guitar riffs and lack of experimentation....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
November 9th 2009


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Just a quick write up because there's not really that much to say about these types of bands.

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

PuddlesPuddles
November 9th 2009


4787 Comments


Aw shucks

Nice review, man

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
November 9th 2009


15743 Comments


this sounds awful but you missed a golden opportunity to make tons of Flyleaf jokes

Blindsided
November 9th 2009


1871 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Was just thinking about reviewing this.
Still might.

bloc
November 9th 2009


35024 Comments


dang it, Flyleaf pulled a Claire Voyant it looks like. still gonna listen.

botb
November 9th 2009


9780 Comments


I enjoy their vocalist more than Hailey Williams tbh.

alt
November 9th 2009


230 Comments


good singer, too bad everything else is shit.

jrowa001
November 9th 2009


8750 Comments


yeah vocals arent bad but the music is boring

Relinquished
November 9th 2009


26019 Comments


I wonder if they are going to tour nonstop to promote this like they did for the self-titled.

bloc
November 9th 2009


35024 Comments


well of course, restrict. most bands would do that.

Relinquished
November 9th 2009


26019 Comments


They did it for 3 years though. That's why this album is so late.

BobbbyLight
November 9th 2009


67 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

If it wasn't for the vocals this would be a .5, but if you add a decent female vocalist to a horrible band, it comes out OK for some reason. There are some OK songs, but overall it's not very good. I can't imagine listening to this more than 2 or 3 times.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
November 9th 2009


8393 Comments


so the overall quality of this album, based on your review, seems to be exactly what I expected it to be. I'm gonna check it out as their debut was ok and they are rather good live.

MentalityOfA
November 9th 2009


1213 Comments


I don't care.







800.

Relinquished
November 9th 2009


26019 Comments


This is alright. I thought they had something going with that EP of theirs (their best song "Much Like Falling" was on it).

fromtheinside
November 9th 2009


19178 Comments


hmm i'm still excited and looking forward to listening to this.

also, trey have you checked out sights and sounds they're a band i feel like you'd enjoy.

Digging: Techno Animal - The Brotherhood of the Bomb

Jom
Staff Reviewer
November 9th 2009


2712 Comments


Lacey's vocal mannerisms are still awful. Boring album.

bloc
November 9th 2009


35024 Comments


also, trey have you checked out sights and sounds they're a band i feel like you'd enjoy.

i am very close to believing fromtheinside is the lead singer.


fromtheinside
November 9th 2009


19178 Comments


haha!
yikes, but seriously somebody high ups gotta grab the realms to get this under the sputnik radar, lol.

catsinflats
November 9th 2009


129 Comments


lacey always used to remind me of avril lavigne. this sounds pretty average though

if this band had a male lead singer im sure no one would care about them



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