MORTAL REMINDER
MORTAL REMINDER


3.5
great

Review

by SaiseiTunes CONTRIBUTOR (27 Reviews)
July 2nd, 2024 | 12 replies


Release Date: 05/20/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: All you need is djent

You know, for as much as I can criticize the modern metalcore trend towards djenty grooves and technicality being present mostly in strum patterns, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for a good old fashioned djent assault every now and then. With one single caveat: I almost never find myself returning to the full album for a second time in a row the day after. Rather, I’ll listen to the album one time, then add songs to my playlists to enjoy their pummeling riffs in small bursts. Or I’ll throw the album on in the gym to really get a good workout in. These “playlist albums”, as I’ve taken to calling them, are not inherently bad (or even restricted to djent, for that matter), but they require a different listening mindset compared to a non-playlist album, if that makes sense.

I bring all of this up because Mortal Reminder’s self-titled debut is perhaps the ultimate playlist album, the most perfect fit for my weird little compartmentalization. Formed from ex-members of Degrader, Sirens and Sailors, and Deadculture (aka more under-the-radar hardcore/metalcore bands with respectably decent followings), this band entered the scene at the tail end of last year, with their full album releasing about a month or so ago. And it’s a pretty decent slab of balls-to-the-wall heavy djentcore, complete with all of the grooves and “djun djun djuns”you’ve come to expect, for better and for worse.

From the opening track, “The Gravest Sin”, the unambiguous highlight of this album becomes immediately clear: vocalist Liam Geary, who delivers one of the better metalcore performances of the year, bringing an insane range of harsh vocals and gutturals that create some of the album’s finest hours. “Thorn”’s ending, where Liam screams out the band’s name, is a savage breakdown callout, and his gutturals on moments like “Stand Aside”’s opening will at the very least induce a minor amount of stank face. Combined with the pretty decent lyrics (a little emotionally angsty sometimes, but no worse than a majority of metalcore out there), which especially stand out on tracks like “Suffer to Love” and “Last Whisper”, the vocals stake themselves out as the most memorable aspects of this album. A close second highlight is drummer Doug Court, who busts out some insane rhythms throughout the album’s brisk 31-minute runtime that perfectly underscore the guitars and lend serious impact to the breakdowns and riffs.

But it’s when we talk about the riffs themselves that the album’s flaws start to become a little more apparent. Despite its shorter runtime, Mortal Reminder runs into the archetypal djent issue that no band can seem to shake in the djent scene (unless your name is TesseracT or Monuments, but that’s neither here nor there): the album really starts to blend together by the time you hit the back half. Hell, even by fourth track “Medusa”, you start to feel like the album’s played its entire hand a little early. This is what I mean when I say that Mortal Reminder is the ultimate playlist album. These songs in a vacuum are nowhere near bad, they’re all insanely enjoyable, and I can attest to having one of the best workouts of my whole damn life when I had this spinning in the gym. But listen to it in any other context, and the whole album becomes one big blur of djenty guitars and heavy vocals. There are a couple standout moments, such as the turntable-infused breakdown of “Stand Aside” and the utterly chaotic final 30 seconds of the closer “Last Whisper”, but they serve less as highlights and more as moments of what could’ve been.

And that’s not even getting into the production. Beware of listening to this with headphones on, because this album is compressed to hell and back. It’s an intentional choice from a stylistic standpoint, but if you don’t like clipping, then you will be turned off from this album almost immediately. The fact that I, a guy who is admittedly not very skilled in noticing production differences, was able to pick up on the compression and clipping, should say volumes about how prevalent that choice is throughout the album.

Clipping issues aside, Mortal Reminder’s debut is a fine enough first impression, but one that does little to truly set itself apart from the majority of djentcore bands out there. It will have a pretty strong fanbase (hell, despite my criticisms, I still had a blast listening to it), but whether or not Mortal Reminder will break out of the confines of their genre remains to be seen. For now though, this will serve just fine.



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user ratings (6)
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
AnimalForce1
Contributing Reviewer
July 2nd 2024


877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Damn, it's been a while, huh? Finally picking my life back together, which means more time to write reviews and more time to actually listen to new music

artificialbox
July 2nd 2024


2063 Comments


long time no see Animal. Gonna check this rn

AnimalForce1
Contributing Reviewer
July 2nd 2024


877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Glad to be back!

bellovddd
July 2nd 2024


6583 Comments


this sounds right up my alley. djenty bois with a good vocalist. bout damn time.

ffs
July 3rd 2024


6269 Comments


looks fucking terrible. whats wrong with you?

bellovddd
July 3rd 2024


6583 Comments


where would you like me to begin?

AnimalForce1
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2024


877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As far as djenty bois go in the core scene rn, these guys are setting themselves up pretty well

Tundra
July 3rd 2024


9862 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like it, therefore it must suck, sorry guys

MantisTobogganMD
July 4th 2024


157 Comments


I don't understand wanting to make your album sound like this on purpose. Yeah most djent sounds the same because of the squeaky production but my God, this is not the way to buck trends.

AnimalForce1
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2024


877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A little compression might've worked, but I made the mistake of listening with a higher volume, and when that first "God DAMN" hit, I had to yank the earbuds out of my ears

NudeTayne
July 5th 2024


1043 Comments


man I'm really on the fence on this. a part of me loves the groove for the sake of the groove, and another part of me feels like this was made by AI at some parts.

T5Cx
July 5th 2024


161 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I used to love this kind of thing but now it’s just boring



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