Memphis May Fire is back with their latest release on Rise Records, Remade In Misery. For long time fans this album feels a bit like a return to form for MMF after a couple of somewhat lackluster albums since the release of Unconditional (2014). Since that release some fans claimed that MMF had lost their edge or that [Matty] Mullins was being too melodic or soft as seen on his solo efforts. In this time MMF released This Light I Hold (2016) and Broken (2018) but neither really connected with fans like their previous efforts. Remade In Misery comes after a four year span since their last album. Although, for those that have been following the band will know that we have received almost the entire album over the course of the past year as the first single was released June 4th, 2021 and prior to the album release 9 of the 11 tracks had been released in a single and/or ep format. It was definitely an interesting approach and to some it may seem like any hype or steam leading up to the full album release may have already dissipated.
The album opens with “Blood & Water” (which was the first single released a year ago) and immediately it is evident that we are going to get at least a glimpse of the iteration of the band that released Challenger and Unconditional, both of which are held in high regard by longtime fans of the band. “Blood & Water” is a barn burner and a heck of an opening track for the album. “Bleed Me Dry” (single #3) follows and keeps the tempo solid and Mullins’ solid mix of melodic clean vocals and low growls show he still has a massive versatility in his vocal ability. “Somebody “(single #4) follows and shifts things down a bit, but has a heavy focus on some more technical bass parts that standout in the overall track. Lyrically, this one hits hard as we’ve all had our times when we’ve felt like we were no longer even a reflection of ourselves due to whatever circumstances have occurred in life. In those moments we long for someone/anyone to help us find our way back to our better/best selves.
“Death Inside” (single #2) ushers in the middle section of the album. As an overall track, it is a bit all over the place, but it works well. For some it may take a few listens to really understand the flow that is happening musically as it seems inconsistent at times. “The American Dream” (single #6) follows and is quick paced and once again gives a great showcase of the contrasting vocal ability that Mullins carries. “Your Turn” (single #9) follows and is probably the “heaviest” track on the album and it fits well smack in the middle and helps to tie things together. The contrast is quick to turn around on “Make Believe” (single #7) which is possibly the slowest track on the album, but putting it up next to “Your Turn” is a solid move that shows the duality of the heavy and light of the album as a whole.
The final segment of the album starts off with “Misery” which is the first non single track. It’s an interesting choice that this specific track has not been pushed as a single as it seems to be the most formulaic lyrically and contains the album title in the lyrics. However, it’s the fact that it is a fairly weak track in the overall scheme of the album that probably shows why it was not selected to be released early. “Left For Dead” (single #5) follows and is another solid track vocally and musically. “Only Human” (single #8) features a guest vocal from AJ Channer of Fire From The Gods and is the most unique track on the album. While it is nice that it got the single treatment it seems to be lost toward the very end of the album and is likely to get missed easily. The album closes with “The Fight Within” and is the only other non single track on the album. It serves as a solid closer and has a somewhat cinematic feel.
Overall, the album is good, but also had the potential to be better. The prolonged release schedule with almost every track being pushed as a single was a bit much and a rather drawn out process. In some aspects it could be considered formulaic based on time constructs (hence the “accessibility” for so many singles), but it doesn’t play out that way as many of the tracks are strong enough to not be just another throw away. After all this time it’s good to see MMF utilizing some of the elements of their earlier work and applying it to some of their more recent efforts to make a solid mix of all of the elements from each of their last several albums.
Remade In Misery is available now on all major streaming platforms or you can order a physical copy via the Memphis May Fire webstore.