ALBUM REVIEW: Binary Code – Memento Mori

Yeah, I know a little bit about Binary Code. My first brush with this New Jersey act traces back to 2010 when I was a mere college student and just starting my internship at 91.5 FM WUML Lowell. It was there that as a metal padawan I delved deeper into more progressive and heavier music and Binary Code’s debut LP Suspension of Disbelief (Metal Sucks Records) certainly fit those parameters. And on their third full length, Memento Mori (Memory Facility), they’ve still got it.

But before we take the deep dive into Memento Mori it’s important to note the history the led to its inception. This is a band, after all, that’s only released three proper albums in the span of eleven years so context is king. This album is the product of mastermind guitarist Jesse Zuretti dealing with the death of his girlfriend and he credits the recording process as one that saved his life. Hell, all sales of Memento Mori will go to suicide prevention.

With all that understood, it’s easy to see why tracks like ‘Filaments Dissolve’ and ‘The Absolute Nothing’ carries such a moody atmosphere and majestic buildups. ‘Filaments Dissolve’ is all about epic ambiance and subtle keys that are contrasted by the staccato guitars that I think we should use as the backing track to the trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming Dune. Yes, that makes total sense to me.

Another standout is the Jeff Loomis collaboration, ‘Those I Thought To Spare’ that invests early in light and shade dynamics by starting with a quiet acoustic guitar passage before delving in grand choruses and an absolutely shredding solo. Yes, Loomis contributes a finger-numbing solo, and water is still wet. And you may want to keep your eyes and ears open for a rather extraordinary cover of Mazzy Star’s ‘Fade Into You.’ The notion of metal covers especially of a nineties alternative anthem like ‘Fade Into You’ seems dicey on paper but Binary Code pull it off all while knowing when to amp up the guitars and vocalist Oded Weinstock confidently holds his own. Don’t be around me if I’ve had a few beers and that jam comes on because I will cry like an anime character.

All in all, thank you Binary Code for Memento Mori and what it stands for.

8 / 10