Reviewed by Eric Wilson
Memento Mori by Flyleaf
"Without losing their sound, Flyleaf has stepped it up a notch, and the results sparkle..."
A few years back, the single "I'm So Sick" introduced a wide audience to Lacey's passionate voice and Flyleaf's maturing sound as a hard rock quintet with the ability to connect with the heart. I was hooked from that first wrenching scream, and have since seen them perform on a number of occasions--each bigger than the last, as their fanbase grew.
The ceaseless touring and giving to their fans meant that we had to wait for a second album, and I was quick to pick this one up. The first listen-thru left me ambivalent, but hopeful. I liked a lot of the lyrics and sounds, yet it seemed at arm's length in some way. Further listens have erased any doubts and convinced me this is a deeper, more mature album, one I'll enjoy listening to for months to come. Without losing their sound, Flyleaf has stepped it up a notch, and the results sparkle on songs such as "This Close," "Chasm," and "Again."
I often like harder bands, such as Underoath and Chevelle, but Flyleaf gives us a blend of honesty, pain, and hope that is hard to surpass. A lot of that centers around Lacey's voice and vulnerability, but the band captures the same feelings in the music. They reward our patience with a full set of 14 songs, none of them a throwaway.
Although I wished for
a few more of those screams that first nabbed my attention, "Memento
Mori" lives up to its name, reminding us that we will all die and that
we have so much to live for on our way to that final day.
Eric Wilson is the author of twelve novels that explore Earth's tension between heaven and hell, the latest of which is One Step Away, a twist on the story of Job. He lives in Nashville with his wife and two daughters. Visit him online at his website.