Memphis May Fire combines old and new elements in recent album

Chris Prenatt, Reporter

Something sounds different on Memphis May Fire’s (MMF) new album. On “This Light I Hold,” the Tennessee quartet still contain their metalcore roots on their previous albums, but it seems there are hints of radio metal added into the mix this time, sounding more like Avenged Sevenfold. While that sentence might worry longtime fans, there is nothing to worry about.

When most bands try to change their sound to reach a better audience, it usually crashes and burns. But vocalist Matty Mullins and crew break that mold with 13 tracks off “This Light I Hold.” MMF sound fresher than they’ve ever been. And MMF sounds heavier than ever.

“Out Of It” is a bold opener, which assured fans that MMF is still the same band as they were years ago. “This Light I Hold” is packed with high intensity metal vibes that fans have grown to love since the band’s inception 10 years ago. Other heavyweights include “The Antidote,” “Sever The Ties” and the title track, which features Papa Roach vocalist Jacboby Shaddix. Shaddix’s vocals help strengthen the brutal mentality that MMF is famous for.

MMF’s rock sound does shine on tracks like “Not Over Yet,” “Wanting More,” “Letting Go,” and “That’s Just Fine,” which feels like it was written to be played exclusively on the radio. The power-rock radio vibe that MMF radiates off these tracks is a breath of fresh air to radio metal.

These songs can be perfectly played next to songs from bands like Breaking Benjamin and Five Finger Death Punch. Once again, longtime fans should not panic over the new sounds that MMF puts on.

There is one problem with “This Light I Hold,” Mullin’s songwriting seems to repeat on the basis of hope that many post-hardcore and metalcore bands like We Came As Romans and infamously The Color Morale did back in 2013. While it’s not as preachy as their 2014 release Unconditional, “This Light I Hold” contains some cliché lyrics, such as on “Not Over Yet” saying, “Don’t let your fears keep you from dreaming/ It’s all a lie when you believe you can’t” and probably the worst offender, “Carry On” which sung, “Decrease the morals/Increase the funds/Don’t be too preachy if you wanna be loved.”

Overall, “This Light I Hold” seems to be MMF going back to the style that made them so well known. It’s mostly a return to form. The band shines bright on most tracks.

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