Virus – Memento Collider

Band – Virus

Album – Memento Collider

Country of Origin – Norway

Genre – Progressive Rock

Release Date – June 3rd, 2016

Label – Karisma Records

Author – BingGan

When I’m running a high fever and I try–often desperately–to fall asleep, I sometimes hear music in my mind that is dark, discordant, rhythmically irregular, and vaguely disturbing.  On their new LP Memento Collider, Norwegian trio Virus uncannily come very close to recreating those sounds for me.  But I must stress–this is not a bad thing at all, hardly.

The dark, sinewy, twisted music on Memento Collider is immediately engaging.  They create a nightmarish jungle of sound led by the thick, clashing guitar chords flung at the listener in sheets of sludge by “Czral” (just the one name) and the thumping, pulsating bass of Petter “Plenum” Berntsen.  A quick word to guitar players: This is no simple strum-along–either take it as a challenge to figure out these knotty chords or surrender completely and let yourself dissolve in a wash of sound you may never be able break down or understand.

Czral delivers mere shredded bits of vocal, sounding like a bit like a goth James Hetfield deep in a Scandinavian forest, the lyrics mostly presenting odd images that one may snatch out of the air between the snaky limbs of guitar.

Challenging listeners to step beyond ordinary musical expectations related to order  and tonality can seem risky, but the payoff can be substantial.  Primus and Captain Beefheart come to mind here, but Virus are heavier and darker than both of these.  Fever or no fever, Memento Collider, though at times a little relentless, is a portal into a dark, fascinating world.

Rating:  4/5