Memphis May Fire – Challenger (2012)

We, as a music community, are in an age where 15,454,384,835 bands (humorous guesstimate) are trying to do the same thing that other successful bands are capitalizing on. The result of such efforts is a sea, nay, an ocean of unfathomable horizons, littered with mediocrity. Though this remains true, even to this day, in that horizon still shines a light. That light being the bands that stand out from the litter, and have found a fanbase and a niche so potent, it has become damn near unstoppable. Whether it’s loved by the entirety of the masses or not remains to be seen. But one of those steadily growing juggernauts of the music world has risen from the water today, to issue a “challenge”, if you will. Memphis May Fire, my friend, we meet again. Fans of this post-hardcore powerhouse, especially from their last album, fear not, these gentlemen have capitalized on that album and become even greater in their formula. Those who know of Memphis May Fire know of the band’s true “signature”, and he’s the ginger phenomenon, Matty Mullins. Since his arrival to the band on their second effort, back when they were on Trustkill Records, Matty has been dazzling the post-hardcore scene with his emotional, and powerful clean vocals. Even more impressive is his ability to interchange with some very strong screams, fluidly, I might add. His vocals have not ceased in the slightest this time around. Another standby of this band is their groovy and bouncy guitar work. While most bands would mindlessly create breakdown after breakdown just to be heavy, MMF manages to incorporate the perfect guitar work to keep your head bobbing. Breakdowns are present in this album, but they’re placed sparingly, and do well in their musical accent. All of their formula from their previous album, The Hollow, is implemented and given a shot of protein to make it even better, opening more doors for fantastic structure and driving emotional spikes. One thing I feel these guys have done even better, despite their already strong standing in this remark, is that they pull even more emotion from the listener than they did on their previous album. Songs like “Miles Away” take you through almost a feeling of¬†disparity. “Prove Me Right” and “Jezebel” get your blood boiling. Every song drives something out of you. And not many bands can attest for that. I’ll also say the band made a good move by going back to Chango Studios for production of Challenger, since they did so well with The Hollow. I don’t usually support Chango since most bands end up coming out sounding the same through them, but MMF manages to stand out amongst the bands that interacted with the studio. Memphis May Fire, though using a similar formula, somehow still stand out among the bands who tried to either imitate them, or get close to them. Matty and his group have done very well so far, and hopefully they’ll continue to push forward, and add even more to their already great writing arsenal. I’ll be seeing these guys perform at Warped this year for the first time, and I have a feeling it’s going to be stellar. Pick this up if you dig post-hardcore, or this band in any way. It’s definitely worth the purchase. 4-8383167
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By PaulOverVanity ~ Me Gusta Reviews