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Memory Garden

Taking their name from a classic song released by American doom titans Trouble in the year of their birth, 1993, Kumla, Sweden's Memory Garden also took their doom history quite seriously, infusing their music with unapologetic references to genre icons like Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, and, yes, Trouble, of course. Beginning with their first demos that same year, it didn't take long for vocalist Stefan Berglund, guitarists Rick Gustafsson and Anders Looström, bassist Ken Johansson, and drummer Tom Björn, to land a deal with aptly named local indie label Heathendoom, for the release of 1995's Forever EP, and the following year's surprisingly mature Tides LP. But Memory Garden quickly started getting a little flack because of Berglund's operatic singing style, and its similarities to Candlemass' Messiah Marcolin, and even more so Solitude Aeturnus' Robert Lowe, but less intolerant doom enthusiasts were far more interested in the band's consistently engaging songwriting, which took on some surprising power metal tendencies over the course of follow-up albums, Verdict of Posterity (1999) and Mirage (2000) -- both featuring new guitarist Simon Johansson in place of Gustafsson. Unfortunately, neither of these records shifted enough units to satisfy the band's new label, American heavy metal powerhouse, Metal Blade, and so Memory Garden were cut loose and set adrift, with their confidence shot and no immediate prospects pointing towards their next step. A lonely 7" single entitled "Marion" was released through the band's old standby, Heathendoom, in 2004, but it would take another four years before Memory Garden made their true comeback via fifth long-player, Carnage Carnival, on Vic Records, which also marked the addtition of new bass player named Johan Fredrikson, the album marked a concerted return to the group's more traditional doom roots, but unlike many examples of the genre, there was nothing old-fashioned about it -- only a very modern sound that's sure to set the band's career back on track.
© Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
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