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Memory Garden
November 2000
Released: 2000, Metal Blade
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson

There simply is not enough progressive doom metal out there. So a new Memory Garden release is always met with much anticipation. I have been following these guys since their debut EP Forever, and I think every subsequent release has been outstanding. Mirage is the band’s fourth CD release so far, and it is a logical follow up to the previous album Verdict of Posterity. Word had it that Mirage would see Memory Garden going back to their doomy roots and backing off from the power metalish aspects of their songwriting, but that didn’t happen. You can bet some great doom is present on Mirage, like “River of Sludge” for example, but no more than existed on Verdict of Posterity. The songwriting parallels Verdict…, but one distinct difference is the increased usage of melodies and guitar harmonies, which give the songs uplifting feelings interspersed between the slow to midpaced heavy-ass doom sections. The production absolutely crushes…crisp and clear with perfect balance between all instruments including the vocals, which is an improvement over the last album where the vocals were too low in the mix. And Stefan’s soaring vocals have never sounded better. His vocal patterns and melodies have always been effective at conveying the sad and dark messages in the lyrics. I really admire the dynamics of this album and the various transitions within each song. I would have preferred a more doomy album like Forever or Tides, and at the same time I would have liked to hear drummer Tom Bjorn throw in some odd drum patterns and other more progressive elements present on previous albums. But regardless, these guys can do no wrong and this album is more than worthy of being in every Memory Garden fan’s CD player. Fans of melodic and progressive doom metal should dig this band, and Mirage would be a great start! Check out Memory Garden’s web site at Now all we need is that new Last Chapter album and for Solitude Aeturnus to give us something new!

Next review: » Memory Garden - Verdict of Posterity
Previous review: » Memory Garden - Memory EP / Tides

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