Album review by Seraphim Dibble, images provided by Reason Define and Obscvre Photography
It has been a few years since the release of Reason Define’s Far from Strangers album. In that time, they’ve grown as a band and as people. Their talents have grown further than ever before, as has the diversity of sound in their music. There’s really no way to review In Memory… without diving straight into the album. In Memory… opens with the relatively soft “Waves”.
While “Waves” features some fantastically heavy portions, the song overall has a very somber and mournful sound. This is perhaps appropriate to a song with the lyrics “the tide pulls me under I’m drowning in waves”. There is so much more to Reason Define than being heavy for the sake of being heavy. “Waves” and “Forgiveness Again” both demonstrate this in big ways. Both songs are a combination of crushing, palm-muted riffs, power chords, and quieter sections paired off with a stunning vocal track that draws you in and entices you to keep listening.
With the softer introduction songs over, “Innocent” is a roaring hard rock track that pounces on the listener. Between the hard-hitting riffs and the lyrics themed around religion and falsehoods, it fits right in with the first tracks. In Memory… broaches a lot of serious topics, and doesn’t shy away from anything, regardless of the track’s musical style. Indeed, as they continue to showcase their signature vocals and guitars through “Reaper”, it becomes even more evident that Reason Define has developed their voice to a fine point.
This is important to note, as each track on the album does sound like a Reason Define song. However, none of them sound like a repeat of any others, nor does the album begin to get boring at any point. They’ve managed to create something that is uniquely theirs, while also not falling back on recording the same song over and over. One great example is the inflection of the vocals during “Inferno”’s chorus and verses, contrasting heavily in style and sound. Another is the soaring chorus of “The Hunter”, where the overall archetypes of the vocalist remain the same while the style varies.
They don’t even skip a beat when they go from hard-rock Goddesses to a softer piano song. It is very reminiscent of Stone Sour’s “Zzyzx Rd.” on their Come What(ever) May album. Despite being in between two visceral hard rock tracks, “Mirrors” is perfectly at home and even offers the listener a respite of sorts. “Impossible Victories” and “Pointing Fingers” are blistering and heavy tracks, and “All I’ve Got”, while ending on a soft note, takes the listener along for a rousing ride.
Since demonstrating their capabilities on their 2017 album Far from Strangers, Reason Define has only moved upward. The professional sound of In Memory… is absolutely unmistakable. Despite, or perhaps because of, that professional refinement, the album also shows a lot of heart. It is clear that Reason Define has a strong career ahead of them, and this is only the first floor. Grab In Memory… today at iTunes, their website, Play Music, and more!