Having only come across Memphis May Fire a few times in the past, I didn’t have much of a foundation to begin with before starting this review which had a 50/50 chance of being either really good or exceptionally bad. Little did I know that it would turn out to be exceptionally good. After seeing these guys at Carolina Rebellion 2014 and hearing some of the material from this record live, I knew that I had to hear it in its entirety. The very first song “No Ordinary Love” is a perfect pitching point for this record because it gives the listener every indication of exactly what they’re in for from the magnanimous Matty Mullins and company. These guys are not shy about their feelings and they want you to know that from the jump. While it can be a tight rope to walk between being emotional and being what some consider “overly emotional,” MMF finds a way to balance clean vocals with deeply personal lyrics and the rough screams, laced with touch of venom.
Memphis May Fire – No Ordinary Love:
The energy of this record is carried by the instrumental fury of Kellen McGregor and Anthony Sepe’s guitars and Jake Garland’s rollicking drums paired with Mullins’ unrelenting drive. There is something especially intoxicating about “Not Enough” with its upbeat tempo and affirmative undercurrent that rolls right into the jagged breakdown that sweeps you up in their sonic storm. While harder edged metallers occasionally find themselves snickering at the people who dance in the mosh pit, with tunes like this it’s easier to understand how effortlessly one can get carried away. The one constant on this album is the carelessness with which MMF exposes themselves to the listener. There seems to be no pretense, no illusions, no falsity in their depiction of emotion, but rather a raw unapologetic unlatching of the floodgates.
Varying between swift tempo crowd-rousers and poignant deep seeded soul-searchers, both accented by guttural breakdowns, MMF has created an interesting complex. I have to commend them for carrying positive themes throughout this work and not conceding or defaulting to “angsty teen” or “pointless destruction” metalcore. I respect that they had the fortitude to put some substance and various dynamics in their music. Although not specifically a Christian band, they manage to incorporate some of the more positive Christian attributes in their work without being preachy or overbearing which makes it that much more enjoyable. So, if you’re looking for something to work out some aggression to or to get out of a funk, check out “Unconditional”!
Must hear tracks: “No Ordinary Love,” “Not Enough” and “The Rose”
Unsung Melody Score: 9 out of 10
Preview or purchase Unconditional below: