Thursday, April 08, 2010

Behold! the monolith-s/t


Arctic Forest

Admittedly when I heard this band's moniker I knew I was going to check them out. Right away it brought up images in my head from 2001 and I intrigued about whether or not this LA band could live up to the expectations they had already created in my mind. I was expecting something huge, heavy and awe inspiring.The disc arrived and I was already absorbed by the cover too. It has heavy written all over it so again my expectations went up even more before the disc even entered my player. The opener "Battlestagg" has the band wound up tight as a cocoon churning out some massively chunky, skull crushing riffs. Like High on fire only with quicker pace changes. Next up was the "Battle for balls deep". This was starts out similar to the opener only slightly slower. So now I thought that I had these guys pegged as being like a cross between High on fire and maybe Sasquatch. At least I thought that until around three minutes into this track then the straight ahead charge gave way to drifts of slow moving sounds spiraling out in different directions. At that moment I knew these guys had much more to offer. "Elders" comes on and it's very much in the old Sabbath style, but wrapped up with more dirt and grit. Then like the previous track they get a few minutes in and their one road dives into several with some semi-spaced out jams tucked in between the thundering wall of sound. The next track is the split "Phantasmata/Waking life". Unlike the previous songs this one the reverse with the dream-like, warped sounds twisting your senses in the first half of the track before giving way to a full throttle, stoner rock stampede in the second half. Like the magician who has you amazed with his warm ups, Behold the monolith seem to be saying "if you think that's something well, you ain't seen nothing yet". That may be true as the closer is a gigantic three headed monster with "Guardians of the abyss/Primal Extenuation/Rise of the brohemoth" (no typo on the last part). The first part is a somewhat affair with stretched out riffs being stretched wit a Zeppelin type groove at it's heart. then the monster wakes up around the middle and a tornado of growls, spitting riffs and killer drumbeats coming crashing down. The final is a mix of unrestrained jams, fuzzed out attacks and odd noises that wraps up one of the best albums of 2009 that I unfortunately missed out on last year.

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Anonymous Metal Misfit said...

I don't really like the music and I especially can't stand the vocals but that cover is great.

6:36 PM  

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