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Album Reviews : Another Life – Memories From Nothing

By on July 13, 2009

anotherlifelargeSo what we have here is the debut album from Another Life, the solo band of Ribspreader and ex-Paganizer guitarist Andreas Karlsson. Also on board, in charge of production and keyboards, is the legendary Dan Swanö. Now, completely disregard that information because ‘Memories from Nothing’ probably isn’t what you’re now expecting. Even when I read ‘progressive metal’ on the back of the case, I was still expecting a bit of brutality.

But there is none to be found here; instead we have nine tracks of relatively light progressive metal with a gothic, doomy overall sound. It’s largely mid-paced and certainly isn’t an album that will jump out at you. Simple, repetitive riffing is broken up with some interesting, textured keyboards by Swanö, and the fantastic guitar solos lift the overall mood and speed. Taking the album apart and looking at each aspect individually, you would expect a much more sinister sound than what’s actually produced. Instead, it’s melancholic with a slightly positive edge. That might not make much sense, but the prominent vocals, strong melodies and occasional speed increases drag it up to towards the light. Each track follows a fairly straightforward structure and it can be hard at times to tell one song from the next. But, at the same time, there isn’t any filler.  Although the latter half of “The End Of Days” deserves special mention, as it features some spectacular clean solo’s over an acoustic backing which easily one of the album’s highlights.

Vocally, this is very hit and miss. Karlsson clearly isn’t a professionally trained vocalist. His low, clean voice suits the music well but it sounds forced. Time and time again, he sounds strained and it just sounds as if he is concentrating far too hard on keeping that low level. Then, at other times, they seem completely natural with a strong, convincing Type O Negative influence. I’m struggling to decide whether the positive moments outweigh the negative or vice versa but at the end of the day, despite sounding forced, they are very smooth and fit the music nicely. It also helps that the vocal melodies and choruses are extremely memorable, taking the focus off his actual singing skills.

Despite having it’s downfalls, this is an enjoyable 43 minutes. It’s an easy listen, being neither overly dark nor too bouncy. There aren’t any standout tracks, but it’s consistent and never drags on.  The excessively clean mix might turn some people off, with the keyboards cancelling out most of the guitar’s heaviness. In a way, ‘Memories from Nothing’ is the doom album for those who aren’t doom fans. 7.5/10

For fans of: Nightingale, Type O Negative, The Eternal, Dan Swanö.

Band: Another Life
Album: Memories from Nothing
Year: 2008
Genre: Progressive Metal
Origin: Sweden
Label: Vic Records

Track listing:
1. Falling Apart
2. The End Of Days <- Reviewers choice
3. The Last Goodbye
4. Firstborn Unicorn
5. Cotton Pines
6. Everlasting
7. I Am Nothing
8. The Everflow
9. Poltava


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.