by Martin Popoff

Click Here for Martin's HardRadio HardReviews Archives

Fresh Metal

Mnemic - The Audio Injected Soul
(Nuclear Blast)

Mnemic have lived down those Fear Factory comparisons and have turned in a masterpiece that melds all modern metal styles - which may be too much to handle for an easily confused metal market (remember Night In Gales? Darkseed?). Fact is, this is insanely artistic, highly progressive Swedish thrash (although Mnemic hail from Denmark), with industrial elements pushing it over the top well into the realm of artsy high concept futuro-metal. Still, there's a seductive Soilwork vibe as well, even if the industrials given the band more of an angular sound. There's also some spiffy new world-beating audio technology tried called 3 Dimensional Sounds, which Mnemic have managed to get involved with because the guy who invented it comes from their town. But even without the gimmicks, this is a band to watch, given their progressive positioning at the upper spectrum of melodic death, both performance and production-wise.
Rating 8

King's X - Live
(Metal Blade)

For years, King's X have demurred on mixing up a live album, calling the label politics too much work. But what had to happen now has, Ty, Jerry and Doug proving their power trio prowess as jam band, blues band, doomy metal band, pop band, acoustic band and jes' generally an act that spreads friendship to and amongst their crowd. All their stuff is intimate, but an acoustic set gets even more so, without being boring - the songs are performed full band, just with turned down guitars. In fact, it's hard to tell when you're getting "acoustic set" or simply one of the band's peerless ballads. Anyhoo, there's also a bunch of rip-roaring but still unifying and blissful heavy rockers, the whole thing opening with swell calling card 'Groove Machine' which heaves way to the similarly vibed 'Dogman'. Both, plus notably 'Little Bit Of Soul', provide us with Doug singing for bluesy blue seas, one of the extra jewel boxes of a King's X live set, all the while Ty and Jerry stylizing, building up, tearing down, reinterpreting the mash of the band's wide-angled, cavernous, ecstatic songs. If I may er, 'Complain', the sum total is a little on the light and melodic side, but through 20/20, I know I'd be even more disappointed with too many flat-out rockers. As well, it's a bit on the raw, lo-fi side, a surprise given the stacks and stacks of live material from which the band had to sit and sift with spliff.
Rating 8

Hard Reviews Page 2