2004 Ferret Music
01. For the Love of Fiction
02. The Grenade in Mouth Tragedy
03. Plotting a Revolution in A Minor
04. The Glutton
05. From My Cold Dead Hands (MP3
06. The Color of Blood and Money
08. Closed Caskets
09. All That Glitters is...
10. Serenading This Dead Horse
I have been waiting for this record as soon as I was finished listening to Remembering Never’s last record, “She Looks So Good in Red.” I really love that record, and thought Remembering Never was a solid band that knew how to mix things up, and knew how to do it well. However, after repeated listens of “Women and Children Die First,” I had mixed feelings about it. After even more listens however, I came realize that this is damn fine metal/hardcore album.
This is Remembering Never’s second full-length, and it marks a significant change in musical style for the band. Maybe the constant Poison the Well references pissed these guys off, because almost every instance of melody and singing has been stamped out of this record. That’s not to say that it’s gone completely, but melody is used very sparingly.
The overall feel to this album is very dark and brooding. Not that Remembering Never was uplifting in the first place, but this is a very oppressing listening experience. Throughout the record, the listener is pummeled with breakdown after breakdown. This can get a bit repetitive at times, because a few songs are composed solely of very slow, open breakdowns, which are quite predictable. However, with more listens, I stopped listening to these songs as just breakdowns placed in order. I started listening to theses songs as complete pieces, which happen to be very slow. It became a similar experience as listening to the slow, trudging songs of Harvest’s “Living With a God Complex.” When Remembering Never decides to speed up, they do it a different way than before. The faster riffs employ some more creative guitar-work than I’m used to from these guys.
Not every single song is complete, brooding heaviness. There are a few moments that show Remembering Never haven’t totally abandoned their previous sounds. “Plotting a Revolution in A Minor” is a good example. This is a very dynamic song with multiple tempo changes, some clean guitars, and the rare singing. But one of the breakdowns in this song reminds me of All Else Failed, in a big way, and I think it works perfectly. “Closed Caskets” is a song that mixes their previous sound with the new. It is melodic for a time, yet completely oppressing, and the changes are very sudden and hard-hitting. This song reminds me of the more metal-influenced songs on their first EP, “Suffocates My Words to You.”There is also a “hidden” track that is a whip-ass cover of Pantera’s “Strength Beyond Strength.”
Lyrically, Mean Pete has done a 180-degree spin. Gone are the twisted songs about heartbreak, and in place, Pete has written songs with more directed meaning in an attempt to be more “hardcore.” He even goes so far to explain, in the liner notes, that Remembering Never was unhappy with “She Looks So Good in Red,” and that this new material is an attempt to bring more meaning and breathe life into a “dying” hardcore scene. The lyrics are written quite well, and don’t come off so much as a sermon, as they do just being brutally honest. I don’t see what was wrong with their previous material, but if this is what they want to do, then more power to them.
Bottom Line: I think this is solid record, but I also believe that Remembering Never could seriously turn off some previous fans, with the constant breakdowns and ominous heaviness. But, from what I read in the liners notes, that could be their intent. An open-minded listener should respect a band making musical change, and could appreciate Remembering Never’s ever-growing heaviness. I am really digging the more creative guitar-work on here, and love hearing a band trying different things. While “Women and Children Die First” didn’t immediately excite me as much as “She Looks So Good in Red,” it is a great metal/hardcore record.