Infectious grooves, alternate realities
dB rating: 9/10
Release Date: June 3rd, 2016
Carl-Michael “Czral” Eide has spoken before of his ambition to write a film score, and that makes perfect sense given that his work with Norwegian avant-garde rockers Virus has always been so visually evocative. Perhaps this is what he has been doing all along, composing Virus’ psychedelic overtures to complement the movie unspooling inside his head. What kind of movie? It’s hard to say; defining what kind of album we’re listening to is hard enough. Eide is a prolific member of the Norwegian extreme metal community, having made notable contributions to Cadaver, Aura Noir and Dødheimsgard, but, with Virus, metal has never been a satisfactory descriptor. Memento Collider, Virus’ fourth full-length of a 16-year career, sees Eide lay off his fuzz pedal in favor of a skronky twang and shimmering, chiming guitar that wraps itself around fidgety, pliant grooves. It’s a pattern that’s augmented momentarily on “Gravity Seeker” when Dan Mongrain of Voivod—a lodestar for Eide and Virus—lets rip a guest solo, before the groove maintains its primacy once more. With his out-of-body vocal delivery, Eide has a quietly sinister presence. Petter “Plenum” Bernsten’s wayfaring bass playing is a rhythmically taut stream of consciousness that feels like a lead instrument; so, too, Einar “Einz” Sjursø’s drumming.
At times, Memento Collider could be the world’s first spaghetti western post-punk disco album. You might well imagine it playing on a loop in some extra-dimensional realm where Jack Nance is wearing a bolo tie, taking care not to spill his margarita while dancing a soft-shoe across a strobe-lit room. Virus would suit such a setting.
This review taken from the August 2016 issue.