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'Memento Mori'
(Kaotoxin Records)

jools green

Jools Green

the negation

'Memento Mori' is the second full length, following 2013s debut offering 'Paths of Obedience' but in an even darker vein, from French black Metal band The Negation, whose line-up includes vocalist A.S.A. from black/death outfit Azziard and ex guitarist Gelgjer from French black Metallers Moonreich.

Soundwise it's a sensory assault that is both a brutal and exciting listen, no symphonic or melodic padding, just in your face, hate driven black Metal. The vocals are somewhat indecipherable but that in no way lessened my listening pleasure, their vitriolic quality and excellent inflection more than compensate.

After opening on a brief haunting instrumental Intro, the album begins with 'The True Enemy', where vitriolic screaming is followed by an onslaught of intense black riffing and hammering drum work overlaid by more vitriolic vocals. It does drop back briefly in places for swift direction changes and more prominent lead work and there is a great example of that in the a second half otherwise it's three and a half minutes of blackened brutality.

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'Sacrifice The Weak' continues in the same crushing vein and the drum work is excellent here, fast and varied and there are a few subtle riff patterns that take the edge off the harshness slightly, in places.

'Parasite Fall' is just as intense to open but there is a haunting quality to the riffs, the pace does drop very dramatically a minute in, but not for long the crushing pace soon resumes. Towards the end there is a very effective dark drop-away where the pace is quite slow and sinister but it still remains crushing as hell.

'A Prayer For Those I Will Have To Kill' opens at slower plodding blackened pace, the drum work continues to keeps its higher profile, no complaints from me as it's excellent, across the whole album in fact, but the slower pace isn't maintained for long, a minute and a half in after a venomous vocal outburst the fast tempo returns tailing off slightly with an addictive repeat riff for the final fifty seconds, kept crushingly interesting by that drum work from sticks-man Kryos.

'Faith In God's Corpse' is a dramatic opener, slower than its predecessors and has some superbly protracted vocals and a pace that builds slowly with powerful haunting leads, particularly at the mid-point after which it drops away in a nicely off kilter manner, with spoken vocals adding to the screams. I particularly like this track as it's deceptively intense without being too overpowering.

the negation

The superb 'End Of Cycle' is slower, moody and crushing with sinister spoken vocals and an utterly superb black groove, the first minute and a half will have you entranced, then the pace picks up but this utterly stunning track, by now, has you in its vice-like grip, enthralled and helpless.

On 'Vision Of Doom' the opening riffs repeat like a hideous tolling bell, heralding the ensuing crushing onslaught if intense riffs and pummelling drums and there are a couple of great lead chunks of lead work midway and at the close.

The final track, not including the outro, 'Résistance', is an utterly engaging listen and my favourite of the release. It's a powerful yet has a beautiful dark haunting flow to its construct, addictive riffs, matched with great drum work and in the latter part a sample of a WWII speech by Charles de Gaulle is overlaid on those great riffs.

Ending in a similar manner to how it began with another, this time longer haunting instrumental, this time with sound-bites of more war speeches and screams and is simply titled 'Outro'.

Completing the package, the crisp bold and very eye-catching artwork is by Metastazis, also responsible for artwork for Morbid Angel, Behemoth, Watain.

The Negation are, without a doubt, black Metal maniacs and 'Memento Mori' is not always an easy listen; at times it's almost too much, it's bleakly nihilistic, but black Metal was never originally intended to be easy or comfortable, it should challenge you and this does, warning humanity to not become puppets used by the evil spawn of society, so it meets all the criteria in that respect as well as being a well crafted and delivered album and should appeal to fans of bands like Marduk, Dark Funeral, Death Spell Omega and Temple Of Baal.

The album is available as a limited edition digisleeve of 1000 copies or as a digital download.

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