REVIEW: Seditionist – Memento Mori [EP/2012]

Artist: Seditionist

Album: Memento Mori [EP]

Rating: 4.75/5

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More frequently, bands are releasing EPs between full length albums, likely in an effort to placate their fan base. EPs, however, are tricky creatures: how can a band pack the full listening experience and attitude of a full length into such a short collection of songs without making it too dense for the listener to tolerate? It seems as if Californian deathcore quintet Seditionist have found the answer with the release of Memento Mori. Providing the hard-hitting heaviness expected of an EP with the full, immersive experience of a full length, Memento Mori is an exceptionally balanced blending which satiates–without overwhelming–the listeners need for groove-laden brutality.

Memento Mori wastes no time in plunging into skull-smashing heaviness head first. “Obelisk the Tormentor (FEMA)” attacks the listener with pulsating drumming and dissonant chugging, establishing an archetype for the tracks to come. Throughout the EP, Seditionist make constant use of creative staggering between the drumming and the guitar work, creating a dynamic half-groove half-breakdown which is pervasive throughout the album. Even on tracks which feature a more technical and shred-laden edge–the EP’s title track being a keen example–a steady, rhythmic groove can be heard lurking in the background, giving the listener a constant supply of head-bobbing heavyness.

While the dissonance which serves as Memento Mori’s backbone gives the EP a constantly heavy and down-tuned feel, the most immersive facet of the album is found within the trialectic established between melody, groove and bold-faced brutality. Half way through the EP, after the soul-crushing juggernaut “Dweller,” “Dishearten” serves as an ultra-melodic, atmospheric break from the listener–one they may very well need. However, “Dishearten” lasts only long enough to lull the listener into a false sense of security before the heaviest–and arguably best–track of the EP wages war on their ears. “Beautiful” is just that–beautiful. Seditionist’s work of jaw dropping art expertly combines carefully placed harmonization and melodic twinges amidst relentlessly heavy breakdowns and grinding, pummeling grooves. Clocking in at over five minutes, “Beautiful”–and the manner in which it works with “Dishearten”–is likely the chief reason Memento Mori has a feel more akin to a full length than an EP.

While Seditionist’s Memento Mori has a reasonable run time for a five-track EP, the full, well-rounded nature of each track allows the listener to become thoroughly immersed in every moment the release has to offer. Without being too dense or trying too hard to pack in layer upon layer of unending heaviness, Seditionist choose to let it come naturally, stylistically compounding grooves and breakdowns which entomb the listener in brutality without asphyxiating them with too-dense material. Rather, the only thing lachrymating about Memento Mori is the transitional element “Dishearten.” While it serves it’s purpose exceptionally, it drags on a little longer than would otherwise be needed for a track meant to do what it does. However, this simple further whets the listeners appetite for the unrelenting, skin-rending crush to be found within “Beautiful.”

Sometimes, sitting down to take the time to pound your way through a full-length album is overwhelming and time consuming. Especially when ten tracks and nearly forty five minutes can leave a lot of room for error–or filler at best. However, Seditionist do themselves, and the listener, a favor with Memento Mori–an EP which cuts right to the chase and gives the listener what they want, without sacrificing brutality, heaviness, groove and melody.

For Fans Of: Every Hand Betrayed, Bermuda, Bound by Exile

 

By: Connor Welsh/Eccentricism