Memphis May Fire – Unconditional ★★☆☆☆

MMFArtist: Memphis May Fire
Title: Unconditional
Release date: March 25th
Label: Rise Records

Another generic release by another generic ‘metalcore’ band. The formula’s always the same and yet bands like Memphis May Fire  are still around and making a living creating music that all sounds like each other. We’re betting the bands record label Rise Records  can’t tell apart one band from the other.

Having listened to previous releases from the quintet who hail from Dallas, Texas  we were expecting a more adventourous effort, a change in sound and direction. However like many US ‘metalcore’ bands, or should we say ‘Rise/Sumerian/Victory’  bands, nothing changes.

The opening riff to the starting track, first single ‘No Ordinary Love’  grabbed our attention and gave us hope…for all of about 4 seconds as the song fails to materialise into anything spectacular. ‘Beneath the Skin’  is one of the heavier tracks from MMF  but yet again they give us a slice of mediocraty and served with a side of dullness.

This isn’t going to be all doom and gloom, they do have a knack for writing a catchy chrous and a melody to sing/hum for days. ‘Need To Be’  is a gentle and mid tempo ballad-esque track that builds and soars with soft instrumentation and beautiful atmospherics and percussion. Relatable lyrics such as “you are everything, that I need to be”.  Vocalist and all round great guy Matty Mullins  showing off the softer side of his range and putting the screaming aside to showcase what a talent he can be.

The problem with this effort is that it does nothing to grab your attention. Every song sounding like the previous with the predictable formula being used to full effect. A bit of singing, add some screaming, dollop a chorus in that sounds like every other metalcore band ever and top it off with a beatdown, then come full circle with another chorus and here you have it, a 40+ minute slab of blandness.

It may seem like we have nothing but negativity to say about this album, it’s not a bad album, it just isn’t risky or groundbreaking enough to warrant multiple listens.

Memphis May Fire  have a vast and widespread fanbase scattered all over the globe, who travel any distance to support the band and take their messages to heart. Speaking of supporting the band, all you fans out there have a few weeks to learn the words to ‘Unconditional’  ahead of a trek across the UK alongside The Word Alive, FACT  and Cytota.