MEMORY DRIVEN – Relative Obscurity

MEMORY DRIVEN - Relative Obscurity
  • 8/10
    MEMORY DRIVEN - Relative Obscurity - 8/10


I Hate Records
Release date: July 6, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Memory Driven, taken from the doomy house of I Hate Records, has been, almost, solely connected to one person and that is Dennis Cornelius. For more than 20 years, Cornelius was connected to several bands in the American Metal scene that ranged from Traditional Doom to Death Metal. After assembling several bands along the way such as COR, Doomstone, Oversoul and Morticious, which all were rather short-lived groups; Cornelius formed Dwell Within that was a sort of a reunion with his fellow friends from those past bands. Unfortunately, Dwell Within also did not make it, and because of inner disagreements, the band’s light went dim. From the ashes of Dwell Within, with only two members left from the band’s original line-up, Cornelius formed Memory Driven. With lots of hope for Cornelius, may this band be fruitful and long-lived as opposed to his older projects because it has the potential to go through with their music of Traditional Doom Metal.

Memory Driven, as its name, was born from the deepest sorrows and frustrations of Cornelius and through the music heard on the band’s debut album, Relative Obscurity, these depressive elements are clearly being on display. Memory Driven is a Doom Metal band made by various influences contributed by its players, influences that range from the crazy mind of Frank Zappa to the darkest Doom Metal brands of the 70s and 80s such as Black Sabbath and Candlemass. Cornelius delivered the goods with some great melodic, mournful like verses and icy cold chants set under a production that is very similar to past Traditional Doom Metal outfits, yet with a modern touch at the helm.

The writing on Relative Obscurity has its share of complexities followed by a water course of mystery and suspension. Throughout the album, besides the doomy tracks, Memory Driven displayed several electric music natured passages that created a sort of an illusion like “There is something out there” or “We are not alone” kind of stuff, which was very common during the 60s and 70s (talk about some old sci-fi alien horror stuff). Maybe that is the reason why the title refers to obscurity as it fits right in. Nevertheless, sometimes these flashes of obscurity are a bit annoying because they are stopping several of the peak tracks. On other aspects, and coming back to the real music on the album, the tracks have their way of getting out of their weaker parts and capitalize on them as Memory Driven using a series of lead guitar melodies and fine solos to expose more feelings. Those feelings were demonstrated on tracks such as “Is There Something There”, “Forever Lasting Sadness”, ”Closer Pull” and the full emotive “Moment” ,as they overcame, on occasion, the somewhat troubling natural continuance of Doom Metal (if not handled well , this sort of sub-genre can put you right into a slight napping time).

Under the influence of so many years of Metal and Rock, Memory Driven created a good outburst that even stepped a bit forward from the 80s era of Doom Metal. By using grooves both modern and old for example, this released debut declared, along with other releases from its fellow label mates, that Doom Metal is still an important figure in Metal and that it does not need the “help” of other sub-genres from the extreme zone.

Behind the sadness and strong negative emotions, through the looking eyes of Relative Obscurity, we are not that alone. The question is that maybe an analogy is used here to flash out that we are not alone with our depression aside from the sci-fi stuff. The answer is up to you to understand.

Other notable songs: “End Of Truth”, “Melt Into” and “Ostracon”.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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