Review: To Kill Achilles – ‘Something To Remember Me By’

To Kill Achilles‘Something To Remember Me By’, the second album from Dundee-based metalcore/alternative rock band To Kill Achilles, is a difficult listen. A concept album dealing with alcoholism, despair, isolation, and ultimately suicide, at times it’s an uncomfortable experience, especially knowing that each track deals with an issue that individual band members have had to personally face over the years.

‘Something To Remember Me By’ is viewed through the eyes of a young man waking up on his 25th birthday, and the culmination of the ensuing 12 months which leads him to take his own life one year to the date he turned 25. Although there is a strong metalcore influence running throughout the album, the vocals are not buried under a wall of noise, and moments such as ‘21:36’ offer up more of a post-hardcore feel. With such an important subject matter, the lyrics need to be heard because they will ultimately strike a chord with many today. As the band states –

“Something To Remember Me By is our character’s suicide note, explaining why he felt he must walk that path, in a way it’s all of ours too as we all went through these things, we just had the people there to stop it from being our eventuality. The message we try to promote is that these things are normal, these feelings are normal and if you recognise any behaviour we speak of in anyone close to you, then it’s your responsibility to be the first to speak up. A conversation can save a life, don’t let anyone end up the way our character does. In a way this record is also the solution to the problems that we speak about, we poured our emotions into this, and after we’re gone, it’ll still be there, reminding people that we once existed and that we once felt as strongly as we do. It’s just something to leave behind, a memento, a token, or just something to remember me by.”

The album begins in an uncompromising way; with the poleaxing ‘fourpercent’. A short, sharp, shock that sets the tone for what follows. Vocalist Mark Tindal must have been spent after recording this one, for although it doesn’t hit the three-minute mark, it makes quite an impression. ‘In Vain’ adds more of a melodic edge, especially with the stellar guitar work from Shaun Lawrence and Marc Sharp who mix up razor-sharp riffs with stunning melodies. The guitar melodies on ‘Oh God, I’ve Never Felt This Low’ are incredible, and Tindal delivers a vocal performance that gets better with each listen. His vocals are front and center, and each word, each line, is delivered with such force, and passion, that at times the listener is left wondering how Tindal will recover from playing these songs live, especially the stop-you-in-your-tracks ‘When You Live With Ghosts, You Don’t See The Dead’. When Tindal begins ‘There’s No Right Way To Say This…’ with the lines “I am tired, alone again, dreaming of times that were better spent, a time where I could rest my eyes, and fall asleep without drinking myself…blind”, it hints of the inevitable outcome which arrives with closing track ‘Something To Remember Me By’.

How the hell are the band going to play these songs night-after-night when gigs return? A stark, harrowing album that floors the listener.

Available now through Arising Empire.

Review – Oli

Connect with the band here.

 

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