Memoirs of the War is Vassline‘s celebration of existing for 20 years. Featuring 23 tracks on two CDs, the album goes through the majority of Vassline’s discography. As opposed to simply a “best of” album, Vassline brought on a number of other musicians to cover their songs. You get members of No Brain, Lowdown 30, Gwamegi, Noeazy, and more lending their talents to putting their spin on these songs. I do think one problem is that it’s not easy to tell which songs are straight Vassline and which feature guests. Overall though, Memoirs of the War is an intense hardcore and metal album.
Regardless if it’s a cover or Vassline performing, the strength of each song comes out with no problem. If you aren’t familiar with the guest vocalists or musicians, it will be difficult to point out the differences. But if you like hardcore and metal music, you probably won’t mind at all. The “Memoir” versions have so much energy and depth that you get drawn in very quickly. I will admit with 23 tracks, it can get overwhelming listening to the entire album in one sitting. There’s so much going on that it can start making you tired.
One standout track is “Flowers In The Sand.” This is a cover by Love X Stereo which uses their signature sound to give the track a different feeling and tone. It comes late in the second CD, but gives the release a needed break. Apple Kim also covers “In This Madness” in a more ambient electronic style at the end of the first CD. In some ways, I wish that different bands could have done covers in various styles to add more variety, but I can see why Memoirs of the War was made in the way it was released.
Vassline’s 20 years is impressive. Many bands can’t last that long, but throughout their long career the band has released some amazing music. Each of their albums showed amazing improvement and progression up to their Conspiracy Theory EP. Vassline don’t get as much attention as other bands, but they’ve diligently lived and presented music that any fan can appreciate.