Painful Memories - _Memorial to Suffering_
(Solitude Productions, 2006)
by: Quentin Kalis (8 out of 10)
_Memorial to Suffering_ is yet another demo re-release, this time the sole release by these Russian doomsters some ten years ago. Many deserve to remain buried within the mists of time, but this one deserved a wider audience, although not quite a must-have.

The motif for this album is disarmingly simple: catchy yet melodic leads played in conjunction with slow yet heavy rhythms and accompanied by some guttural vocals, while tempo changes and varied rhythms prevent boredom from setting in. This is not the most complex template, nor is it the most original, but it works. It cannot be denied that this a depressing and mournful album, but it unfortunately lacks the emotional intensity that permeates the work of the masters (for example Katatonia's _Dance of December Souls_ or My Dying Bride's _Turn Loose the Swans_) and which would herald its entry into the doom metal classic pantheon.

Lyrics are sung in English, although it is broken and sounds unintentionally comical at times. But the band photos do more damage to their image then their command of a foreign language. Their sepia toned, artificially aged photos may have been an inspired touch, but band members wearing white sneakers and baseball caps dilute the effect considerably.

If Painful Memories had not broken up, they could very well have emerged as the Slavic response to the British doom/death trinity.


(article published 12/12/2006)

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