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Memento Mori
Posted November 03, 2009
By piano89,

Four years, that’s almost an eternity in the ever fast-paced music industry. A band that
waits this long between album releases can easily be forgotten. However, Flyleaf wisely
used this time to tour non-stop, building up their fan base. Now the Texas-based
alternative metal act is finally in position to release their sophomore album, Memento

The radio release of “Again” gave fans a peek at the new material. The single sets the
tone for Memento Mori, unveiling a more polished, tighter-sounding Flyleaf. From the
lyrics to the music there is noticeably less aggression on the new record than their debut,
but the band’s extraordinary passion is still present.

Throughout Memento Mori there is a sense of urgency. Lacey explains that the
overriding theme is “to make the most of the time we’ve all been given.” On the hard-
hitting “Beautiful Bride” she sings, “Strengthen your arms now/Train your fingers for
battle/Urgency’s here now,” speaking of preparation for spiritual war. Just as urgent,
“Swept Away” starts out discorded and erratic before shifting into a melodic chorus,
“Time for surrender/Spread out your open hands/And He will raise you up/Confessing all
that’s broken/And watch the healing come.” The song comes to a peak in the bridge with
Lacey unleashing her signature scream.

Lacey sings “Set Apart This Dream” and “Tiny Heart” with her younger sister in mind,
not wanting her sister to make the same mistakes as she made. “Set Apart this Dream,”
in particular, comes across as maternal and loving, “Close your eyes little girl/You’re a
princess now/You own this world/Twirling in your twirly dress/Your the loveliest far
above the rest.”

Much like their debut, Flyleaf concludes with an epic closer, “Arise.” The soaring
anthem picks up on the theme of living life to the fullest yet also imparts hope, “Sing to
me, about the end of the world/End of these hammers and needles for you/We’ll cry
tonight but in the morning we are new/Stand in the sun will dry your eyes.”

While Flyleaf’s debut was bolder in sound, Memento Mori is bolder in message. In songs
like “The Kind,” “In The Dark,” “Swept Away,” “Circle,” and especially “Beautiful
Bride,” there is no question of who or what Lacey is singing about. Musically, listeners
who felt Flyleaf’s debut was too intense will probably find Memento Mori’s overall
subdued nature to be more palatable. This is not to say that Flyleaf has gone all soft,
rather that the group has matured and refined it’s sound.

Closing Thoughts:
No sophomore slump here, Flyleaf manages to release a record that shows maturity and
growth yet stays true to their sound. Flyleaf’s debut album went platinum less than three
years after its release; I suspect Memento Mori shall reach that status quite sooner.

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