Album Review: Memphis May Fire - Challenger
Summary- Memphis May Fire comes back stronger than ever, on their sophomore Rise records release Challenger.
Memphis May Fire has overcome a lot in the past couple years, after going through two record labels (finally ending up on Rise) and numerous lineups they have finally fine tuned their sound. They have become a band for anyone who enjoys a little singing in between their screams and brutality. Lately however I have been seeing a lot of other reviewers shutting down bands solely for the concept that they base their song writing foundation on that tried and true intro, verse, chorus, breakdown, slower breakdown, synth breakdown and any variation of that; wash, rinse, repeat that kind of deal.
I, however, disagree. I do not consider myself an elitist so I feel most of you will share my opinion. It is my idea that if music is well put together, well written, and even though it’s not completely groundbreaking it still brings something to the table, than it is still enjoyable. That is exactly how I consider Challenger, it is a formula that many bands employ but MMF utilizes extremely well. The album keeps up it’s pace from start to finish keeping me on my toes. From one song to the next it was extremely enjoyable besides one interlude, which I will address later.
Likes: This is definitely an evolved Memphis May Fire from what we saw on Between the Lies and The Hollow. They retain the fast paced catchy rhythm, and guitar work from the first album and they have even managed to bring back some of that southern sound that listeners believe they lost. Another great thing I like about this album is how it’s not as predictable as most other bands in the genre. Generally I find myself after listening to this type of music for so long, I can pick out breakdowns pretty easily, but for this album when I expect a breakdown I hear a well done guitar riff that leaves me just as satisfied as any breakdown could. Even better yet it’s not a breakdown I feel I have heard somewhere else. The lyrics if you listen are meaningful and much more positive (with a few exceptions) than the majority of The Hollow while staying just as catchy. They also keep up the variety with songs that are mostly screaming, and some that are mostly singing.
- Without Walls/Alive in the Lights: intro track into the first track of the CD group chants in the intro give me chills, sounds great together.
- Prove Me Right: a putdown to what I assume to be their former label
- Red In Tooth and Claw
- Generation: Hate
Dislikes: I find very few qualms with this album. If I had to find some it would be that I think the interlude is out of place, this album kept me hyped up the whole time and then the interlude while still being well done seemed sort of out of place to me. I do realize however that this seems to be a norm for most bands to attempt to slow things down, but Challenger would have been perfectly fine without it.
Overall 4.5/5 Challenger is up to par with their previous work, and should definitely be bought and enjoyed.
Guest Review by Harris Nguyen for Two Senses