FALSE MEMORIES – HYBRID EGO SYSTEM
LABEL: Frontiers Music srl
RELEASE: June 9th, 2023
AUTHOR: Mike Smith
01. The Storm Inside (feat. Anette Olzon)
02. Holding On
03. Rising Tide
04. The Other Side
05. Rise Again
09. From Dust
10. Fragments Of Your Ego
11. Shed My Skin
12. The Storm Inside (Rossella Only Vocal / Digital Bonus Track)
FALSE MEMORIES is an Italian Dark metal band with gothic and progressive elements. The band was formed in 2015 by lead guitarist Francesco Savino. Their style and sound has changed drastically since then, especially after the addition of Rossella Moscatello as lead vocalist in 2018. Francesco and Rossella began writing songs together in a much heavier style and soon they realized they needed a more technical and powerful drummer and an additional guitarist. Enter Emanuele Cossu (drums) and Moreno Palmisano (guitar). Original bassist GianLuca Zaffino was already present and their first album with this line-up “The Last Night Of Fall“ (2021) is absolutely spectacular! Shortly before their very first European tour in July of 2022 GianLuca stepped down and Davide Tevecchia, who had previously been their live and studio sound engineer, stepped in. He’s still the live and studio engineer but is now also the band’s bassist. Their new album “Hybrid Ego System“ will be released June 9th on Frontiers Records.
Kicking things off we have a song that features the amazing Anette Olzon as guest vocalist titled “The Storm Inside“. The second single, released April 20th along with a fantastic video, this song is simply incredible! Anette and Rossella sound terrific together! It’s a slow paced, haunting yet powerful track that alternates between mellow and heavy with subtle orchestration or synth sounds. Rossella has said that she specifically tried to write parts for Anette that would fit her vocal style and I’d say she succeeded! Francesco has crafted what he himself has described as probably his best solo ever and wow what a solo indeed! Thematically the song seems to address the battle of racing thoughts that sometimes plagues our minds, while also encouraging us not to let them overtake us. In the second pre-chorus Rossella sings: “Your own mind is your prison / Don’t trust those cold haunting lies!”. Just an amazing song and an incredible start to this album!
Track two “Holding On“ shows the band taking on slightly heavier territory and also gives the listener their first taste of Rossella doing harsh vocals! Yes you heard me right, Rossella is now using harsh vocals and she sounds amazing! It starts out with a cool, sort of industrial sounding effect, then suddenly the bass, drums and guitar kick in. The effect then stops abruptly and the riff and groove that come in next just might surprise you! It’s very different for FALSE MEMORIES but it’s absolutely fantastic! It’s got a sort of traditional metal feel to it that I’m having a hard time finding the words to describe, but when you hear it you will be energized and excited! Lyrically the songs seems to have an inspiring message of persevering in a world that will bring us down if we let it. In the chorus Rossella sings: “These scars aren’t healing anymore, I’m holding on / This void breaks my bones, I’m losing my control / I’m holding on“. An amazing song!
Next up is the first single and video from the album which premiered March 30th, “Rising Tide“. The first time I heard this I was absolutely blown away! It was the first time I heard Rossella‘s harsh vocals and it was a bit of a surprise! I wasn’t quite sure what to think at first but by the second listen I was totally on board! She kills it! There’s still plenty of her amazing clean vocals and she doesn’t overdo it. She only uses the harsh to accent the parts that need it. Not only that, but she came up with her own way of doing it that sounds amazing! Everything about this song is fantastic! By this time it becomes apparent that just like they said it would be, this album is much more progressive than “The Last Night Of Fall“. They still have some of the subtle orchestration and eerie string sounds, but it’s heavier and more technical. There’s plenty of odd timing and off beat drumming from Emanuele, along with his trademark double-bass patterns that follow along with the guitars and bass. The video is also very well done. It has a futuristic sort of AI theme, with the AI robots possibly representing the thoughts that come at you. Just brilliant!
Track four “The Other Side“ was released May 18th as the third single with an accompanying video. Having listened to this song many, many times since the very minute it was released (which is the case with all the singles), I can tell you that I loved it the first time but it gets even better with every listen! It has everything I love about FALSE MEMORIES… incredible dynamics, subtleties, highs and lows, crushing riffs, of course Rossella‘s amazing voice, creative drumming, a fantastic guitar solo, but now also with the added bonus feature of the harsh vocals. I can’t say enough great things about this song! It’s infectious, memorable and powerful! The first part of the chorus goes like this: “Can you feel the pressure crawling from your neck? Wipe out the past, from your head”. The song seems to be about someone who often struggles with their past. Another fantastic song!
“Rise Again” is up next and the brilliance continues! Rossella sounds absolutely amazing! Beginning with some very cool synth sounds the song then abruptly crashes in with drums, bass and guitars and a super cool riff and beat. It leads into the first verse with a fresh airy sort of dreamy synthwave sound and then Rossella comes in. She sings beautifully: “Consume me, undo my mind / The wild future is blind / I can’t dream / I’m motionless in this cold breeze”. After the verse and in the second part of the chorus she switches to the harsh vocals again “(harsh) Away from me / My own dreams will fade! / (clean) From our ashes we will rise again”. The lyrics seem to be sung from the perspective of a person who’s decided they won’t be controlled anymore. Musically it’s another crushing and dramatic, somewhat reflective piece with lots of changes, cool synth sounds, a fantastic guitar solo and incredibly passionate and powerful vocals and harmonies from Rossella!
The next track clocking in at 4:05 is the shortest song on the album and with the least amount of lyrics… the incredible “Stains“. It’s a sort of ballad with hypnotic guitars and piano combined of course with their trademark heavy chugging guitars and double bass drums. Francesco plays two separate, short but beautiful and emotional solos and Rossella belts out some very powerful notes. She really pours her heart out! This is the second song so far with no harsh vocals.
Up next we have “Concrete“. One of my favorites from the very first time I heard it! Slow and heavy, this song’s main riff is so good that Tony Iommi will wish he had written it! After the first verse Rossella sings these words: “Disintegration / Now this world is just concrete / Violation Of life”. To me the lyrics sound like a sort of commentary on how our march of progress is actually destroying us… a wake up call maybe. Another track with no harsh vocals. A fantastic song which culminates with an incredible screaming guitar solo from Francesco and then Rossella belts out the final words of the chorus with a heightened sense of urgency: “This world collides with your choice / While your voice / Is burning like a damned soul”. Magnificent!
Track 8 takes us on a journey into the world of “Insanity“. It begins with a slow haunting melody played with a clean guitar combined with dramatic and ominous string sounds. This builds as the drums come in and then the pace picks up as Emanuele lays down a solid groove. In the chorus Rossella delivers an ominous message: “Time is now upon your neck / While the red is crawling into your lungs / A deaf noise is screaming inside / There’s insanity in your eyes”. About midway everything slows down and then Francesco proceeds to lay down a beautiful solo. Third song in a row now with no harsh vocals.
“From Dust“ starts out with a short piano intro and then a fairly mellow first verse but quickly transitions into one of the heavier songs. The harsh vocals are back but only as an accent on every other line of the chorus: “(harsh) From dust I belong! / (clean) This fire burns all hopes / (harsh) Regression is done in this world! / (clean) This pale ground is getting colder / (harsh) Colder!”. There’s a lot of double bass drums and to me it even has a bit of a modern metal sound to it but yet still with Emanuele‘s offbeat odd-timing drum patterns. Rossella sounds incredible and Francesco lays down another killer solo!
Track 10 “Fragments Of Your Ego“ is the longest song on the album at 6:21 and has a very epic feel to it. Still very heavy though and with a little bit of harsh vocals. There’s many changes, this is probably the most progressive song on the album. Around the middle it quiets down to just a piano and subtle synths and Rossella sings these very soft beautiful lines: “Breath gets heavier, in this cold space / Mind deceives you, makes you blind / Blind, blind!”. It comes back with a huge build-up with Rossella belting out some of the biggest and highest notes on the album! The song has a sort of interstellar cosmic vibe. At times I almost had the feeling I was ascending into space! One last chorus and Rossella hits some more incredibly astounding notes, another short guitar solo and then it ends. A truly incredible piece of music!
The album’s closer is brand new territory for the band and the first song written mostly by Moreno. “Shed My Skin“ is also to my recollection the band’s first time using acoustic guitar. This works very well! It’s a beautiful melody and a wonderful way to close the album. This also gives Rossella an opportunity to really shine and she takes advantage of it! What a voice! Moreno lays down a short but fantastic acoustic solo and Francesco answers back with a soaring electric solo! I really love this song but to me it felt like it ended too soon. Like it could have been a huge epic magnum opus! I would like to see them continue to work on this type of song and come up with something for the next album like maybe a 10 minute song!
Apparently the album also has a bonus track of “The Storm Inside“ with Rossella only on vocals. I think it may be digital only so I haven’t heard it yet, but I look forward to it!In summary: “Hybrid Ego System“ is the perfect next step for the band! They’ve taken everything I love about “The Last Night Of Fall” and improved on it without losing any of what made me first fall in love with them! Rossella did say that the next album would have less symphonic and more progressive elements and that is definitely the case. What she did not say was that it would have harsh vocals. That part surprised me. It works very well though. She sounds fantastic! Unique is a word that often comes to mind when I think of FALSE MEMORIES. They sound like no one else. I believe Francesco is a musical genius! He writes some of the most creative guitar parts and passionate solos I’ve ever heard! Rossella is absolutely amazing in so many ways! Her voice is incredible! She sings with so much passion and emotion and her lyrics are more intelligent and thought provoking than many others. The two of them together have a very special chemistry! Their songs are the best I’ve heard in a long time! Moreno is an incredible musician and his guitar work compliments and contrasts Francesco‘s perfectly! The addition of Davide on bass has also given the band a huge boost of energy and possibly even enabled them to write and play more technically challenging material. Not only that, but he is a master behind the console and has once again helped the band to create an album that sounds phenomenal! Emanuele on drums is also a very important part of their unique sound! His odd timing beats and patterns are simply magnificent! It’s been a tremendous joy for me finally listening to these songs. Even after hearing it many times I know I still don’t yet fully comprehend just how incredible this album is! “Hybrid Ego System“ will surely be my pick for best album of 2023!