Memfis is a Swedish band formed in 2003. In 2006, they released their debut album, The Wind-Up. It entered the Swedish album chart at #20, and garnered some gushy reviews in mags such as Kerrang (”These Swedes could develop into one of the most important metal bands of the decade”) and Metal Hammer (“Visionary”). Swedish public metal radio gave the band an award for “Newcomer of the Year”.
In 2007, Memfis played at a series of well-known Swedish festivals, as well as Bloodstock Open Air in the UK, a Nordic tour with Satyricon, and shows with The Haunted, Entombed, and Wolf. Pretty good start for a new band, huh?
Brimming with enthusiasm, they recorded their second album in 2008 — and then their record label sued them. Two years of litigation followed before the label called it quits, and in the meantime the album was in limbo. Now, Memfis has decided to self-release the album digitally. It’s available on Amazon, iTunes, and the band’s own web site (where it’s available for a “name your price” option). It’s called Vertigo.
Thanks to an e-mail recommendation from Vince Neilstein (who has now written about this release at MetalSucks), I’ve been listening to the album this morning, and it’s definitely worth checking out. (more after the jump . . .)
The inventive, diverse music resists easy pigeonholing. It includes proggy flights of extravagance, spinning like a big fireworks pinwheel throwing off sparks. It also includes big booming riffs and riveting drumwork, attention-grabbing rhythm dynamics, bounding basslines, and top-shelf guitar pyrotechnics. It’s like a melding of Between the Buried and Me, older Dillinger Escape Plan, and a jazzier version of Opeth. And like those bands, the vocals effectively trade off between clean and harsh.
Seriously, there’s a shitload of talent in this band. If you’re prog-minded, you definitely need to give this a shot. Below is a player that will stream the whole thing, and to get the album, visit the band’s web site via this link. Their Facebook page is here.