When metalcore veterans Memphis May Fire released their single “Blood & Water” many fans were thrilled to hear what they considered a return to form after the band’s 2018 album Broken (an album that left many fans wanting heavier music). With each subsequent single release, it became clear that Memphis May Fire was back to prove they could still put out hard-hitting, compelling and aggressive metalcore. Those singles culminated in the release of their 2022 album Remade In Misery.
Remade In Misery sees Memphis May Fire riffing their way through 11 tracks, all filled with their signature guitar and drum performances as well as Matty Mullins’s dynamic vocals. While each track follows a pretty basic verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus structure, which can create some predictability, the arrangement and delivery of these songs are such that it never feels stale. In the face of the formulaic framework, Memphis May Fire proves that, when the structure is done well, the results can be exemplary. The choruses of each song are infectious, the breakdowns are punishing and the production value is off the charts. The end result is some of the most tightly-written and polished music Memphis May Fire has ever released.
Lyrically, Remade In Misery holds more in common with The Hollow and Challenger than the rest of the band’s discography. Exploring themes of broken trust (“Blood & Water,” “The American Dream”), losing a sense of one’s own identity (“Somebody,” “Make Believe”), growing despite trauma (“Misery”) and the common MMF theme of defying judgmentalism (“Only Human,” “Bleed Me Dry,” “Left For Dead”). The one track that shifts its theme toward the hope Memphis May Fire has been known for in their lyrics is the closing track “The Fight Within.”
It’s always special when an aggressive band slows things down and puts forth something vulnerable. That’s what “The Fight Within” is: a vulnerable encouragement to press on. The ability to offer that encouragement is based on having been in need of it first. It’s a wonderful track that caps the album off by pulling on all the themes, resolving them with a note of hope: in spite of our loss of trust, our struggle to understand who we are, and the trauma we have endured, there is growth. Our stories don’t have to end in the pain and hurt life can bring.
It’s a beautiful way to close out the album, and is perfectly in line with who Memphis May Fire has been throughout their career.
Remade In Misery isn’t a groundbreaking or revolutionary metalcore album, but it is one of the most solid examples of how accessible and innovative metalcore can be. From the way they released the album one carefully crafted track at a time, to the final composition, Memphis May Fire affirmed the value in the genre and took hold (once again) of their place within it.