CMJ (p.20) - "[They add] intelligent twists to the industrial-tinged style."
Lyricist: N. Bates.
Personnel: Mircea (guitar); Brylle (drums).
Audio Mixers: Mnemic; Tue Madsen.
Recording information: The Antfarm Studios (05/2004-06/2004).
Fear Factory is inevitably the band that comes to mind about 30 seconds into Mnemic's second album, 2004's The Audio Injected Soul. Pummeling death metal riffs, start-stop arrangements, double kick-drums, and both hardcore barks and clean vocal harmonies are all spun together through a dizzying maelstrom of technology, and, really, all the listener can do is hang on for dear life. Of course, that's not to say their experiments are successful from the start. In fact, initial offerings like "Dreamstate Emergency," "Illuminate," and obviously forced first single "Door 2.12" (its infectiously melodic chorus tries a little too hard to please) are overwrought and overlong (curiously, a problem that afflicts Fear Factory, too), and one can't help but wish a minute or two had been lopped off for better results. Sure enough, The Audio Injected Soul hits its stride with a trio of more contained, outstanding tracks shortly thereafter: "Deathbox" wins the struggle between accessibility and inventiveness where "Door 2.12" had failed; the robotic narration and other assorted voices tormenting "Sane vs. Normal" make for a truly schizophrenic experience; and the opposing forces tearing at "Jack Vegas" (bruising guitar riffs here, deeply woven harmonies evocative of Rush there) make it one of the record's best, most cleverly realized compositions. Mixed results follow, with yet another undisputable highlight called "Overdose in the Hall of Fame" preceding a final shock remake of Duran Duran's "Wild Boys," which is, if nothing else, curiously entertaining. Overall, this is a very solid offering with definite flaws, yes, but also much promise for this risk-taking band's future. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia