Memoriam needs no introduction. Founded by former Bolt Thrower singer Karl Willetts and Benediction bassist Frank Healy — living legends of old-school death metal — Memoriam are arguably the most creative band of the genre right now. The band has built its own loyal fan base over the past seven years developing a distinct musical identity and has finally announced the release of their new studio album, “Rise to Power”, set to drop on February 3rd, 2023, via Reaper Entertainment.
With “Rise to Power”, the band builds upon their signature sound with additional dynamics. From brutal grooves to moments of doomy melodic parts to aggressive Nordic riffing, “Rise to Power” is an extremely varied album. The record was produced by Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir, At The Gates, Amorphis) at Parlour Studios in the UK and features artwork by renowned visual artist, Dan Seagrave (Benediction, Dismember, Hypocrisy, Suffocation) whose work has adorned the covers of Memoriam’s previous works.
Comments the band: “Introducing album number five, ‘Rise to Power’, the second album of the second trilogy. For this album we again worked with the creative genius, Mr. Dan Seagrave. Dan has created the previous four album covers for us, so to keep the theme and continuity there would be no other choice. We love the work he creates and to be part of the creative process whilst the artwork is developing is a great experience. To see our basic ideas come to life through his mind and hands is amazing and he always delivers. This time around the cover has a majestic purple color theme and features the ‘King’ — the central character throughout all of the artwork that Dan has created for us — at his crowning ceremony where he ‘rises to power’.
The lyrical content of the new album carries on from those that precede it, maintaining the theme of grief, loss, and despair along with social commentary on recent events such as the war in Ukraine and past events such as the Holocaust. The ever-present subject of war is prevalent throughout the album as it is on all of the others. We consider ‘Rise to Power’ our strongest album to date, as it includes a diverse range of songs building on what we have achieved with Memoriam over the past seven years. ‘Rise to Power’ is a true celebration of life through death metal”.
Adds Seagrave: “In this cover, as with the previous albums we are working backwards from the war. The premise finds the main leader’s coronation as supreme ruler, his followers always a semi faceless army as is the leader, preferring to keep their face a figment of the viewer’s imagination — emotionless behind a façade. The architectural environment I put together is based on memories of visiting the ruins of Roman Emperor Hadrian’s Villa in 2017 – a location often drawn by the Italian artist Piranesi. And it’s also his rendering of the Appian Way that I was thinking about for this. Giving the art a hemmed in archaic and historically overbuilt quality.
Similarly, another point of reference was the hall of plaster casts in the Victoria And Albert Museum. This in particular has an imposing feeling when you stand amongst the variety of historical casts and their disproportionate scales. Items like the full scale casting of Rome’s Trajan’s column, and a statue of David juxtaposed in one place create a disjointed feeling amongst the smaller works. I wanted this cover to have a similar feel to that, like things are appropriated from somewhere else repurposed by the reigning mob as a backdrop for their own glory. Combining that and an imagined early 20th century retro modernity feel, with the addition of electrical grid like elements and war machines tanks that feature semi elaborate sculpture reliefs, alluding to an impracticality: Image over function”.
1. Never Forget, Never Again (6 Million Dead)
2. Total War
3. I Am the Enemy
4. The Conflict is Within
5. Annihilation’s Dawn
6. All is Lost
7. Rise to Power
8. This Pain
Karl Willetts – Vocals
Frank Healy – Bass
Scott Fairfax – Guitar
Spike T. Smith – Drums