As furious as it is catchy, as dense and layered as it is accessible, Mnemic’s latest offering, “Passenger,” is an album that has the ability to please just about anyone who loves a good shot of the heavy stuff. Taking obvious influence from groups ranging from Fear Factory to Deftones to Meshuggah, Mnemic do an exceptional job of sounding like something you’ve heard and loved before, and taking it to the next level, giving it a unique stamp.
Perhaps the biggest help would be in the band’s new frontman, Guillaume Bideau, who can scream and shout with the best of them, yet can also handle and balance the melody beautifully, transcending punk rock and heavy metal simultaneously. The band is in top form here, with the rhythm section of bassist Tomas Cowan Koefoed and drummer Brian Rasmussen taking to the forefront and dominating each of the albums eleven tracks. Unfortunately, this doesn’t leave much in the way of innovation for co-guitarists Rune Stigart and Mircea Gabriel Eftemie (do you realize what a pain it is to type these names?), as their work, while being solid in it’s own right, just doesn’t push the limits like the rest of the album.
But that’s just fine, because on the whole, “Passenger” is a supreme album. The average listener isn’t likely to find themselves getting bored, and after it’s all done, you’re left feeling like you’ve just heard something unique. True, the overall soundscape of the album isn’t anything new to the genre, but how the band approaches their songwriting, in such an unpredictable, twisting and turning way is more than enough to keep you on your toes and scartching your head. I could get track into track with this album, but there’s no point, really. Each song is just as strong as the next and after each listen, you’ll surely want more. This isn’t just senseless gushing, mind you. Out of all the albums I listen to on a regular basis, this one has truly captured me. Each time I listen, I find something new, which is why it deserves five stars. You’re definitely getting your money’s worth with this one.