MNEMIC are one of the most promising modern metal bands out there – in fact, their debut and sophomore albums outshine just about anything released in extreme metal within the last 5 years. Both ‘Mechanical Spin Phenomena’ and ‘The Audio Injected Soul’ (the straighter, more accessible of the 2 discs) are brilliantly twisted amalgams of Meshuggah-esque polyrhythms, FFactory-style industrial coldness, and the catchiness of Gothenburg melo death masters Soilwork and feature some of the best songwriting anywhere. ‘Passenger’ still sounds unmistakably like MNEMIC yet is a noted departure in terms of production, style, and overall vibe. Now fronted by former Scarve vocalist Guillaume Bideau who displays an incredible range from clean, melodic singing to OTT screams and growls that border on the psychotic, much of the new album comes across as a lot more frantic, jagged, and sonically stripped down recalling Meshuggah’s ‘Chaosphere’ and Canuck madmen Strapping Young Lad. While there are strong chorus hooks all over the place (first single ‘Meaningless’ being a prime example) the bulk of the songs take longer to fully wrap your brain around this time. But give it a few spins and ‘Passenger’ will reveal its many strengths albeit without quite reaching the genius level of earlier gems like ‘Deathbox’. Still, nobody does it better than MNEMIC when it comes to facemelting-yet-sophisticated Bladerunner Metal and tunes such as ‘In the Nothingness Black’, the anthemic ‘Pigf*ck’, ‘Electric I’d Hypocrisy’, the stop-and-go bludgeon riffola of ‘Stuck Here’ (the sitar textures mid way give this a mad Oriental feel), or massive epic closer ‘The Eye on Your Back’, which climaxes beautifully in an almost cinematic fashion, will have you bow to these Danish new school gods! ‘Passenger’ is an early contender for metal album of the year – let’s see who can step up to the plate and give these guys a run for their money.