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Review: Solum Mortum – Memento Mori

Review by Andriana.

Solum Mortum is a four piece death metal band from Pennsylvania. Memento Mori is the band’s debut EP and was released in June of 2015. It is only about sixteen minutes long at four tracks. Pick up or listen to Memento Mori on Soundcloud, Reverbnation, Bandcamp, their Facebook page, and Youtube.

Solum Mortum picked a sound and stuck with it on Memento Mori. As much as I praise versatility in my reviews, I also like when an album or EP sounds like it is all from the same collection of music. It certainly isn’t a bad thing, especially when it sounds good. While Memento Mori doesn’t shine brighter than other death metal albums and EPs it also doesn’t blend in with others. It has what you would usually expect from a death metal band: fast drums, fast riffs that are possibly tremolo picked, fast and loud solos, and death growls.

What does stand out about Memento Mori are a few things. For starters, the drumming has a lot of flare. For most verses the drums do a traditional death metal kind of groove, but drummer Phil Schenk will throw in cymbal or bell hits that go along with either the vocals or current guitar riff. I like the fact that Schenk will switch between cymbals because it impacts the song greatly and keeps a fresh vibe.

The second thing that’s great about Memento Mori is the bass. Not only is it audible, but it doesn’t seem to always follow the guitar. I understand why bassists will follow the guitarist, but it doesn’t make the bassist stand out at all. I was able to clearly hear the bass and the different things that were being played. The third thing I liked about this EP were the solos. They all were very appropriate and weren’t too show off-­y. The solos do not overstay their welcome as they make their mark on each song. Even if you don’t like solos at all, they really aren’t that long and they are at least tasty enough to bear. For example, “Memento Mori” displayed a lot of technical prowess in the solo, but it only lasted about 18 seconds. The rest of the song is hard-hitting, in your face, death metal.

“Womb” is a song that accurately displays Solum Mortum’s full sound. It has the demonic growls, flared drums, and intricate bass that is placed in various parts of Memento Mori. Every song is fast, but I feel like “Womb” has a bit more of a deeper cut. “Surgical Paralysis” is another good song to check out to get a grip of Solum Mortum’s sound, but what I said about “Womb” stands for itself

As cool of a song as “Womb” is, my favorite song is “Path Beyond the Pendulum.” The intro comes in hard and locks me in from the get­go. It doesn’t let up for a second. Everything about “Path Beyond the Pendulum” is cool: it has a cool bridge, deep growls, a catchy chorus, and those killer drums and bass, and cool riffs. There are a few different riffs that are played and the drums keep up with every one of them quite well.

For being a first, and independently produced, EP Memento Mori came out pretty nice. The production sounds raw, yet you’re still able to hear everything fine. Definitely not a polished EP. The songs sound original and genuine. Because of the different song structures and just overall different happenings, the songs do not blend together if you listen fully through. It is a solid EP and the band members are very cool and respectable.

Rate: 7.4/10

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