Memory Sphere is a project led by multi-instrumentalist Ben Stout. Hailing from Perth, Australia, the artist has released under his own name an album called 360 Degrees of Freedom. Stout’s current release Never Forget Part I is a departure from the sound on his previous endeavors therefore he wanted to acquire a different band name for his latest projects.
Never Forget Part 1 is an immersive listening experience that explores personal loss and tragedy as the artist grapples with his grief. As the themes of loss emerges, this album showcases instances of light and dark and as Stout makes sense of his experiences with grief. The record is bursting with cinematic soundscapes that melds folk and metal into a sonic experience. The results are dark yet emotionally powerful, strongly evocative and definitely poignant. It is a steady response to a fleeting world, one that we must grasp by the reins or else the momentary flash will forever evade us.
Never Forget Part I opens up with “To Deepest Warmth,” where reverberating guitar riffs sound off to an anthemic appeal. The guitars are full-ranging and create a wall of sound. The vocals come in with emotional power and range. The lyrics are a taste of what the album has to offer as far as themes and concepts. For example, the lyrics ask the questions: “Will the whispers ever cease?” “Will my heart turn my head around?” “Will time change my perspective?” “Will my perspective change me?” “Will I find my way?” It is these types of themes that Never Forget Part 1 forges to document with attention to detail and passion.
On “Never Forget,” loud and reverberating strumming from the acoustic guitar starts off the track. Stout’s vocals come in, in a closed off whisper. A hushed sense of expectancy could be heard from his soft vocals. The music is simmering, undulating with emotional power.
On “Fever Dream 3 – Lost Here,” spiraling cadences pierce the air as the spacey sounds expand toward the start of this song. The cadence of strings adds in a lush layer. The sound of wind instruments also traces this track. Revving guitar riffs add to the reverberating range. The vocals come in, in a mild manner. The soft vocals contrast to the wild music that contain dark riffs. A vibrant Eastern vibe underscores this song. The screams are harsh and intermittent. The chiming of bells peals out from out of the storm of instrumentals.
The cadence of strings adds in a stirring pulse to “Midnight.” The music is serious with a strong sense of urgency. The vocals come in with a soft sound and are permeated with vulnerability. The song melds soft with aggressive, taking the two polar opposites and offsetting each characteristic off each other.
This is a dark album that takes flight with emotionally powered vocals, fervent lyrics and on-point instrumentals. Underlining these intense tracks is Stout’s passion for his music. Magical and relentless, Never Forget Part 1 takes you on a journey beyond the ordinary.
Never Forget Part II was recorded at the same time as Part I, but has not yet been released. If the searing sounds on Part I is any indicator, Part II will be equally evocative. I look forward to seeing more from the artist in Part II.
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