Following on from the tragic death of long time Bolt Thrower drummer Martin “Kiddie” Kearns at the age of 38, the band decided to call it a day – saying that carrying on without their drummer of 20 years didn’t feel right. Vocalist Karl Willets then got together with Frank Healy (bass, Benediction, Sacrilege), Andrew Whale (drums, Bolt Thrower’s first drummer) and Scott Fairfax (guitars) to form Memoriam – a musical project created to help deal with the loss of Kearns.
For The Fallen is their debut album, and follows on nicely from the two Hellfire Demos that were released last year. Three of the Hellfire tracks also appear here, so if you’ve heard the Demos you’ll know what to expect – brutally heavy old school death metal that sounds like Bolt Thrower‘s half-brother.
Like Bolt Thrower, the subject of war play a big part on this album as the song titles ‘War Rages On‘, ‘Surrounded By Death‘ and ‘Resistance‘ suggest. However, there is also a focus on the themes of grief and loss – understandable given the circumstances leading to the formation of the band – with opening track ‘Memoriam‘ and the closing track ‘Final Words‘ being especially poignant and helping give the album an emotional depth not always present in death metal releases.
Musically, there are big similarities to the classic Bolt Thrower sound, but here the guitar work is more dynamic, and the vocals have toned down the death metal growls – resulting in Memoriam having it’s own unique sound and style. Check out the official video of ‘Reduced To Zero‘ to see exactly what I mean.
If you’ve already picked up the Hellfire Demos I and II you may be wondering if it’s worth getting this album for the five new tracks. The answer to that question is a resounding yes – partly because four of the new tracks are over six minutes in length, but mainly because this album is just so damn good!
This is an incredible album, and if you’re a fan of old school death metal then you simply have to buy yourself a copy of this – outstanding !!
Score: 10 out of 10
01. Memoriam (02:50)
02. War Rages On (04:09) 
03. Reduced To Zero (06:37)
04. Corrupted System (06:38))
05. Flatline (07:35)
06. Surrounded By Death (03:10) 
07. Resistance (03:52) 
08. Last Words (08:45)
 – previously appeared on the Hellfire Demos I
 – previously appeared on the Hellfire Demos II
Nuclear Blast Records
24th of March 2017
Frank Healy – Bass
Andrew Whale – Drums
Scott Fairfax – Guitars
Karl Willetts – Vocals