Memento Nostri
Pro Patria
Style: Gothic Folk Metal
Release date: 21 August, 2010
Playing time: 21:02

It’s an odd feeling when your ongoing lookout for budding talent involves taking but one step beyond your front door. Having known the members of Memento Nostri for many years, I was nevertheless taken aback on hearing “Pro Patria”, the band’s debut release.

It’s hard for me to describe the band’s music, especially since there are few bands one may compare Memento Nostri to. But I’ll give it a shot. First of all Memento Nostri are from Malta, a tiny Mediterranean archipelago representing the southernmost tip of Europe. Before one brushes this off as petty trivia, it should be said that the band’s lyrics are entirely inspired by the intricate history of their country of origin (hence the EP’s title). Specifically they focus on the mid-16th century when Malta (like much of the then developed world) was battling the throes of the Ottoman (Turkish) empire. If you can imagine the film “Kingdom Of Heaven” as a backdrop to a tragic love story, then you should have a more-or-less good idea of the concept of “Pro Patria”.

There seem to be parallels with bands such as Orphaned Land and Therion in the way the band goes about creating music. Not bad for a debut release…..not bad indeed. Female vocalist Alexia Baldacchino is gifted with a stunning voice – I’m thinking of Tarja Turunen or Simone Simons (Epica). She shares singing duties with Michael Sammut, whose Death Metal growl possesses one of the lowest tonalities I’ve ever heard. The dual singing of Alexia and Michael might not prove to be everyone’s cup of tea, but personally I felt it gave the music added intrigue. A drum machine is used on all these 4 tracks but at the time of writing, the band seems to be auditioning for a ‘carnal’ drummer. We’ll wait and see where that takes them.

Another major asset in this EP is Memento Nostri’s superlative compositional skills. Sure enough, these 4 tracks feature spoken passages (read by a trained actor), brutal Death Metal, heart-rending emotional moments, orchestral sounds and even one song in Maltese language (‘Il-Fatt’ – ‘The Truth’) but it all sounds incredibly organic. Impressively, this release is self-produced, self-released and the even artwork was designed by the band-members themselves. I couldn’t help feeling, however, that a more experienced sound engineer would do a whole lot of good to these tracks.

It would be tricky to profile a typical fan of Memento Nostri as there’s a lot going on within their music. So do check out the hereunder links – if that goes down well, there’s a niftily-packaged “Pro Patria” EP that you might want to own.

Facebook page with link to video clip of title-track of “Pro Patria”


01. Pro Patria
Decimation At The Gates
03. Victory
04. Il-Fatt


Label: Self-released
Distribution: Band website
Reviewed by: Chris Galea
Date: 28 March, 2011