Album Review – Faustus / Memoriam (2022)

One of the most interesting names of the current Swedish scene will crush your skull with their new album, blending their trademark Deathcore with tons of progressiveness and groove.

Hailing from Bollnäs, a Swedish locality and the seat of Bollnäs Municipality in Gävleborg County, Sweden, the up-and-coming Deathcore outfit known as Faustus plays what they like to call “a freight-train-full-of-sledgehammers-headed-straight-towards-your-whole-family” sound, adding elements from Death Metal, Progressive Metal and Djent, among others, to their vicious core sonority. Now in 2022 the band comprised of Ludvig Setterlind on vocals, Anton Pärlenskog and Mattias Lövhaga on the guitars, Nils Hedberg on bass and Oskar Pärlenskog on drums is ready to attack armed with their sophomore effort, entitled Memoriam, following up on their 2018 debut album Laments of an Obscure Mind. Produced, mixed and mastered by Robert Kukla at Obsidian Recording Studios, and displaying a classic artwork by Jani Stefanovic of Dreamdecipher Productions, “this album can be regarded as a tribute/homage to what has been. Both in regards to people from our past as well as things in life that have had a big impact on us. We felt that we needed an outlet for these feelings and took to our trade of choice to fulfil that need, and here we are. The music in itself is fuelled by these feelings and brings a sort of anger and sorrow. Not a gloomy one mind you, but more something that represents honour. With that said, we didn’t skimp out on the groove or heaviness of the music, no it’s quite the contrary. It’s our best and most complete album yet,” commented the band.

In the opening tune Deprived of Liberty we’re treated to a groovy riff attack by Anton and Mattias accompanied by the thunderous bass by Nils, kicking off the album on a high note and flowing into the also visceral Psychogenic, with Ludvig roaring and screaming in anger nonstop while Oskar dictates the pace with his pounding drums, sounding as heavy as it is intricate and melodic. Let’s keep banging our heads to the sound of Anhedonia, where Nils and Oskar sound like an earthquake together, therefore providing Ludvig with all he needs to scream manically, whereas Existence, Death? begins in the most Progressive Metal way possible, morphing into another solid tune where all instruments sound sharp, caustic and detailed. And following such pulverizing tune, The Creation of What’s Called Hell is an infernal Deathcore and Death Metal creation spiced up by its sinister lyrics (“In utter darkness / Death is my only friend / Corrupting everything / Tearing the soul apart / In the silence I scream / Rots with the corpses / No incoming sources / Creating what’s called hell”).

Ludvig continues to growl like a beast in Architect of Ruin, more modern than its predecessors with the guitars by Anton and Mattias piercing our ears mercilessly; and blending elements from the Melodic Death Metal by bands such as Arch Enemy and Soilwork in their sonority Faustus offer us all Sleep, once again hammering our heads with their venomous drums and bass. Then leaning towards contemporary Groove Metal we have Tempus, sounding darker and more demonic than the rest of the album and with Ludvig stealing the spotlight with his devilish roars; while Obscurity is slightly generic compared to the other songs albeit still presenting the band’s core sonority, with the guitars by Anton and Mattias sounding incendiary. Back to a more obscure sound, it’s time for the band to blast the multi-layered From the Beginning to the End where Nils is as usual fantastic on bass while Oskar keeps the energy level truly high with his beats, morphing into the atmospheric outro XI, putting a serene and pensive ending to Memoriam.

If you want to enjoy all the fury and melody blasted by Faustus in Memoriam you can stream the album in full on YouTube and on Spotify, and of course purchase it by clicking HERE or HERE. Also, don’t forget to give the guys a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their visceral music. The Swedish metallers from Faustus did a very good job with Memoriam, blending a vast array of styles into their trademark Deathcore without losing their essence and without sounding confusing; as a matter of fact, I would love to see more of their experimentations and progressiveness in their upcoming albums as those elements brought a very welcome touch to their music, placing them among the most interesting names of the modern metal scene without a shadow of a doubt.

Best moments of the album: Psychogenic, The Creation of What’s Called Hell and Tempus.

Worst moments of the album: Obscurity.

Released in 2022 Independent

Track listing
1. Deprived of Liberty 3:56
2. Psychogenic 5:01
3. Anhedonia 3:29
4. Existence, Death? 4:41
5. The Creation of What’s Called Hell 5:58
6. Architect of Ruin 4:15
7. Sleep 3:57
8. Tempus 4:06
9. Obscurity 3:19
10. From the Beginning to the End 5:43
11. XI 2:44

Band members
Ludvig Setterlind – vocals
Anton Pärlenskog – guitar
Mattias Lövhaga – guitar
Nils Hedberg – bass
Oskar Pärlenskog – drums

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