Unconditional review by Memphis May Fire

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  • Released: Mar 25, 2014
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.7 (26 votes)
Memphis May Fire: Unconditional

Sound — 9
For a post-hardcore/metalcore album, it's definitely solid. Memphis May Fire has a strange ability to take these heavier genres, and turn them into something that is hard to describe (positively). And as usual, you get brutal screams, catchy as hell chorus, drums that make you "air drum" like a bada-s, until you realize you look like an idiot, and heavy... oh so heavy riffs, acoustic, and some electronic filler for the breakdowns. It's mixed really well, leaving me not trying to really "listen" to distinguish what's going on. Guitars are a little blended, but it blends in with what they're doing, since Memphis May Fire isn't very "riff" and "lead" driven. But anyways, lets jump into this song by song.

Lyrics — 7
1. "No Ordinary Love" - The first single released from the album. An obvious choice for the radio, but even as a single, it doesn't come off as too obvious, and annoying. The guitar in this track really sticks out to me, which is something difficult to say for Memphis May Fire. They're not very riff driven, give or take a few songs, but this one I could really get on board with the guitar. It's 70% clean vocals, which Matty does beautifully. And the screamed chunks that come along make you wanna smash your face on the wall. When it comes to lyrics, it's hard to understand (for me) what the song is clearly trying to state. At first it seemed more driven towards a girlfriend. But when the video came along, it made me assume it relates to the relationship with the father. Either way, solid song.

2. "Beneath the Skin" - This song is great, it's weakness is the obvious lyrics. I understand the message in the song, but it seems a little overused material, and an area I never imagined them diving into. Singing about an girl (or ever girl), feeling left out, and pushed away, and judged by their appearance. Dealing with some mature, and morbid thoughts, it's still a little bit different than I'd expect. Overall, the song is heavy when it needs to be, and catchy when it needs to be as well.

3. "Sleepless Nights" - The second single released. This song is fun! This one really gets the juices flowing. It's heavy, it's fast, it's dirty. It's got a nice headbanging tempo to it. At first, I was a bit turned off of the chorus, it seemed a bit different than usual. But it grew on me, and now I catch myself humming it for no reason. At first I thought it was about drug addiction. But I believe it's about anxiety. Regardless, the lyrics are pretty brutal. "In-hale, ex-hale, why is it so hard to breathe. In-hale Ex-hale, why isn't this working." Absolutely love this part. Great song.

4. "The Answer" - Honestly, this is the song that doesn't really stand out to me. It's not that it's terrible, but it just seems to me, like a leftover track they threw in to extend the album. I honestly can't say much for it, because I tend to skip it. But it's solid from what I've heard. Just not to my own taste.

5. "Possibilities" - It has a very mainstream feel to it, but not in a disappointing way. The scream are nice, and to the formula of Memphis May Fire, and the chorus has a very rock and roll feel, it's addicting. The lyrics are strong in this. They speak a point, about (I think), that so much can be changed, we have the power to stand up for our beliefs in the world.

6. "Speechless" - Asides from "Miles Away," Memphis May Fire doesn't have any other soft, melodic, relaxing songs (not including "Vaulted Ceilings"). They definitely have a talent with making a soft song that makes you reflect on very personal issues, and this is no exception. If you listen, you WILL feel something. It's powerful, but has little to no guitar in it. But it's got this addicting, overdriven bass during the verse's that I absolutely love. The chorus is so strong, it makes you feel like you're in the middle of your own movie. It's really easy to get into. Lyric wise, it's a bit obvious content, but written in very good way. It's a love song basically. "For a moment, I'm a poet without words. Speechless 'cuz you love me at my worst. I don't deserve this, I let it surface, and all I know is, today I woke up, falling in love again." Asides from the overused idea, they definitely did it perfectly.

7. "The Rose" - This is the strongest track on the album I think. And that says a lot being the lead of an album full of near perfect songs. It starts off faint, with a quick buildup of electronic sounds. Than within a couple seconds, it immediately explodes into this heavy, fast paced, aggressive riffing, drumming, and screams. Than it stops, and transitions into a very catchy chorus. The piece singing "Grew from the crack in the concrete" is great, how the snare rolls, feeling like it's exploding into more awesomeness. Than there's the obvious breakdown, more chorus, and all that. Lyricwise, it's very clever. I still haven't figured it out quite, since I'm usually too busy rocking to really listen into the lyrics. But I believe it's about them all, as a bad, growing into something great, and having to push "through the concrete" to get there. Great song.

8. "Not Enough" - I believe this song is sung entirely in clean vocals, but for some reason, it's another favourite of mine. It has an obvious feel, for how it progresses. But it's just too catchy to try and disrespect. I love how the guitar is played along with the drum beat. The lyrics seem to be about being "at the top of the world" with their success, but they want more. Although it comes with some struggles. That's just my own take on it. I love the breakdown in this song. How it's just drums and bass, and singing. With some hard EQing. It sounds great, and has an amazing feel to it.

9. "Need to Be" - There isn't anything heavy about this song, it's entirely acoustic. And honestly, sounds a lot like Linkin Park. It deals with some obvious emotions, of sensitivity, indifference, and guilt. It's not quite as powerful as "Speechless," but it's still another solid, soft, slow song from Memphis May Fire.

10. "Pharises" - To be honest, because I have no idea what the title of the song means (Is it even a word?), I never bothered with the lyrics. Although it seems like it's about someone who has a huge ego, and is condescending. Otherwise, it's a heavy beast, that makes you bleed from gums and fists from metal overdose. At first it was one of my favourites, but it got stale pretty quickly for me.

11. "Divinity" - Okay, I know I said "The Rose" was my favourite, but than this song came to mind. But I can't decide between the two, for the number 1 spot in my mind. Lets just say they're a tie (Y). The song is powerful, and it's quite religious. But not in a way that makes it seem like they're pushing faith in you, so don't worry about that. It has a very positive feel, something that makes you feel good about yourself. It's basically going to feel like Memphis May Fire is in your living room, singing to you personally, about how you should never give up, You're special! The outro to the song is so powerful as well, it fades in such a melodic, wonderful way, that leaves you feel great about life. A perfect outro for the album.

Overall Impression — 9
Personally, I think this album is a masterpiece. I've noticed a lot of negativity coming from this album. It's unfortunate, and I don't believe it deserves the hate. But people will like what they like, and hate on what they feel like hating. The album is a perfect image, of what you'd expect to hear from Memphis May Fire. It sounds a lot like "Challenger," but the songs are a bit more distinguishable from each other in my opinion. But than again, I'm sure a lot of us don't mind the idea of it being "Challenger 2.0", because that's a great album as well. It's definitely worth a pickup fro your local music store. It seems quite a few new albums these days don't seem to be doing justice for the artists. But Memphis May Fire was able to take what they had, crank it up a notch or two, and blow away any expectations I had. It's full of heavy headbanging moments, and has it's times where it makes you reminisce about a relationship you had. Through out all of the curves, and changes, it leaves you feeling satisfied, and happy. 

This was my first review ever, I just felt I had to say something about the album. So if you have any comments on my review skills, try to be more with "Helpful criticism," as opposed to spiteful, unneeded negativity. Thanks, I hope this helps.

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