26 June 2013

Behold! The Monolith - Behold! The Monolith

It is never nice when tragedy bring to light a band that you had not heard of before.  On the 23 June 2013, singer and bass player Kevin McDade from Behold! The Monolith passed away after a traffic accident two days earlier.  I am not going to lie and say I had heard of them before and listened to the potential greatness before hand, they might have been making waves but they had not reached me.  But like most other people when someone who is in the art world (be it either music, literature, films, etc) passes away, I finally heard their name and went to have a listen to their work.  This is the first release, some people call it an EP, but it is over 30 minutes - by that standard, it is an album - this was released in 2011. 

The musical line that is being treaded here is a path that was first dug by Black Sabbath, and then taken deeper by the likes of Mastodon and High On Fire. The sub-Sabbath trio whilst not playing anything that I have not heard before do play their music well.  With only one track below the four minute mark and the rest varying between 7 to 13 minutes, this is an album is one to expand one’s mind to, if you get my meaning.  Like lots of music of this genre it is more about the spaces between the words where the groove and instrumental interplay powers the album on.  This is best shown on the triple names "Guardians of the Abyss/Primal Extenuation/Rise of the Brohemoth" which is the best example of what these guys could do.  It swims between all different aspects of this genre and as the end track of the album is its greatest trump card.

Unfortunately the overall album is not as high in quality as on the end track. Opening with the brief "Battlestagg" the album drifts from song to song without really making much of an impact on this listener at least.  However, whilst not being the most exciting or original of material, it is a decent record. Not every piece of music has to be a breath taking discovery.  This is the musical equivalent to a ham and cheese sandwich.  It is basic, but it does what it says on the tin - it does not try to be anything else and whilst not blowing me away, it is ok.  It is just a pity that the death of Mr McDade had to bring them to light for me.

6 out of ten - Now I see where you were going, but not quite there

You can buy the MP3 version of the album on Spotify here

You can visit the band's website here which has links to their bandcamp page and store

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

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