New Band of the Week: Memorist

Exciting emerging British band Memorist have conjured up an epically dramatic sound that fuses metalcore and nu-metal foundations with influences from cinematic composers and electronic music. It’s a fascinating fusion of styles that the band summarise as “emotive, cinematic and evolving.”

The south-west England six-piece of Jon (vocals and production) – whose inability to forget apparently inspires the band name – Chris (guitars), Ash (guitars and production), Crayg (electronics), Josh (bass) and Benji (drums) first formed in early 2018. The Memorist concept was first seeded at Chris’ wedding in Las Vegas, where he met an old friend of Jon’s who ended up shooting wedding photos in the desert.

Jon was recommended as a singer, they began writing remotely, demoing tracks and, following various lineup changes, released debut single Loss in 2019. The band has since set about honing a diverse and thrilling concoction of absolutely massive soundscapes.

As the band describes it to us: “Familiar yet with a unique brush stroke that you might not expect. We don’t like to compare ourselves to our contemporaries – not to say that we don’t respect other bands doing similar things to us – but only that we pull in influence from cinematic composers such as Hans Zimmer and Jóhann Jóhannson, through to nu-metal giants like Deftones and Linkin Park, right through to the modern metalcore titans of Architects and Northlane. Dash a healthy dose of electronic music from the worlds of drum’n’bass, trap and synthwave… you might arrive somewhere near our sound.”

We first discovered Memorist through their superb recent single The Empiric, which was released early last month. It opens up with electronic noises that lead into a piercing guitar lick over delicious bouncy guitar chords and driving drums. That drops into a mellow, atmospheric opening verse supported by stabbing synths and light guitars, which explodes into a dramatic chorus of vocals “Do you feel alive? Don’t go outside, Hold your breath, This could be the end, We’re running blind, On borrowed time, Tell me my friend; Do you fear death?” over drawn-out guitars and searing synths.

Lively guitars drop into stabbing synths and spoken vocals, which develop into big screams then give way to powerful low-tuned guitars and synth chaos. That feeds into another powerful chorus, which ends on repeats of “Do you fear death?” over atmospheric instrumentals to bring this huge track to a close.

On what to expect from the track, the band told us: “Something different, that’s for certain. Our music has always taken on a changing form as we experience different things and the world around us changes. We draw influence from so many different outlets, and with our music as an expression of our emotions it was always bound to take a slightly varied form. The Empiric is the calling card for the EP; it blends organic and synthetic instruments seamlessly with industrial percussive sounds and our trademark thunderous choruses. It’s really something we’ve been wanting to achieve since we started writing our original three singles.” Check it out in the video here:

The band since released follow-up single Second Sequence on Friday (6 August), which opens with floaty guitars and clean vocals. It soon bursts into heavier guitars and synths alongside more powerful vocals, which drop back into a light verse.

A second chorus ends with heavier vocals and flows into a dramatic section of powerful guitars and searing synths. That ends on booming guitar chords and delicious trancey synth sounds to bring the track to an end. Check it out in the video below:

That’s the band’s fifth single in the last couple of years, which began with the also excellent Loss and Love, but a personal favourite is their absolutely fantastic third release Frustration. It dives straight into heavy atmospheric guitars and driving drums, which drop into an engaging opening verse, which sees the vocals intensify as little synths join in.

It builds into a powerful, engaging chorus of “When all the callouses build up you’ll be numb to the feeling, And your fingers immune to the flames, But the rhetoric still cuts and every word’s a mistake, I hope you’re crippled under the weight ,You’ve taken all you can take, I hope you’re crippled under the weight” over big atmospheric instrumentals.

A mellow verse takes over and gradually intensifies towards another big chorus. The pace completely drops down in a laid-back section of chilled instrumentals as vocals come in and build up to a huge final chorus. Atmospheric synths, driving drums and guitars take us to a powerful ending with repeats of “You’ve taken all you can take, I hope you’re crippled under the weight.” Check it out in the video here:

As alluded to above, the Memorist sound has been influenced by a diverse range of artists, influences and sounds. As the band explain: “It changes all the time, and between all of us our musical influences are so broad and varied that it’s really hard to say! Your best bet is probably to give this playlist that we put together back in the first lockdown a spin. It’s some of our all time favourite tracks/biggest influences in each of our individual songwriting (bonus points if you can guess which member picked which tracks…).”

And on what inspires their music, the band tell us: “We are influenced by our personal life experiences and the changing world around us. We write about anything that evokes a particular emotional response in us, both musically and lyrically.

“A lot of the lyrical themes of our songs come from Jon’s personal experiences and memories (hence the name, Memorist) but are also embedded in politics, social injustice, and anything else that happens to bring out that emotional response. Music should be felt and shared; we all suffer, by sharing our stories we lessen the load.”

We love the fusion of metal and electronic influences in the Memorist sound and we’re excited to hear what else the band has in store for us. The good news is there’s plenty more of it to come with new music and lots more recording planned throughout this year and next. They also plan to hit the road gigging in 2022 with potential for some one-off shows this year.

And the band adds: “We appreciate hearing from every single one of our fans; get in contact with us through any of our socials and let’s talk. We want to hear from you.”

You can follow Memorist on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and check out their music on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and Tidal. And discover more great new bands through their label Year of the Rat Records.

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