Tuesday 9 August 2022

Majorel - Restless In Memory

Labels: Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 04 Apr 2017


1. A Simple Retreat

2. Unversed, A Conscious Abandonment Of Surroundings

3. Attempting Coherence In Form And Intent

4. Until The Well Runs Dry

5. Disrupting Moonwake

This is the 76th Zegema Beach release that's been featured on this blog in total (if my maths serves me correct). Granted, a number of those releases were featured prior to me starting this review series and I know that I've missed one earlier release (which, I'll circle back round to at a later date). Majorel existed for a very short length of time (at least I don't think they're active anymore) and this tape was their first release back on 2017, with their second being the 4-way 10" Desolate Hands Move The Hour with Cady, Agak and Come Regalia, which was also released by ZBR a year later. Majorel featured notable musicians who were/are currently in Karoshi, Apostles Of Eris, In Wolves Clothing and Swan Of Tuonela, plus a whole host of others. 

The screamo/hardcore scene in Richmond, Virginia (USA) has always been very fertile and Majorel more than staked their claim for recognition when they released Restless In Memory. ‘A Simple Retreat’ opens proceedings in truly driving, violent fashion but also with a notable emo layer. You could call it emoviolence or screamo, but in truth it’s got a bit of everything. Precise instrumentation where both the percussion and guitars are clear, while the vocals are heart-wrenching and also utterly piercing. 

Emoviolence might have been an apt descriptor here as ‘Unversed, A Conscious Abandonment Of Surroundings’ flies by in a whirlwind of dramatic heaviness. There isn’t anything blackened about it per se but there is that feeling about it. Maybe it’s the anxious riffs and the orchestral melody that they create.’ Attempting Coherence In Form And Intent’ is the most progressive sounding track on the EP for sure, whether that was intentional or not. Off-kilter musicianship that’s beautifully delivered alongside an undercurrent of dare-I-say early metalcore, maybe?. Either way, it’s killer.

Penultimate song ‘Until The Well Runs Dry’ is a slower building number that keeps the anticipation high with layered volume and switches in tempo that promise to break out but don’t. Controlled songwriting that keeps you hooked until the end. It’s left to ‘Disrupting Moonwake’ to close out the EP in the most suspense-filled way. It’s violent beginning gives way to an introspective mid-section that grows in the same way that Envy’s music does. The final breaths are made up of Majorel’s angular hardcore. 

Another in a long line of great ZBR releases but no label is bigger than the bands they are home to and Majorel count as one of ZBR’s best residents. They may not be active right now but at least there are some things to remember them by. Tapes are still available (which, is crazy) so go grab em!

You can stream Restless In Memory and purchase it both on tape or digitally from Majorel below:-

Copies are long since sold out from Zegema Beach Records.

Majorel - https://www.facebook.com/majorelrva/

Zegema Beach Records - https://www.facebook.com/zegemabeachrecords

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