This mid-November doom record nearly passed me by—I hadn’t previously heard of this U.K. outfit, and it’s just their second release. But when I finally got a chance to listen to the music, it grabbed me right away. If you like your traditional-style epic doom served with a side of power metal, complete with a singer who can really sing, then Monolith Cult certainly belongs on your radar, too.
“Disconnection Syndrome” opens the album with a mid-tempo chugging riff that reminds me of Argus, and some soaring trad-metal vocals that hit the higher register without going into super-falsetto. I could listen to this guy sing the alphabet, and it would still sound pretty epic. I really dig the slow, doomy detour they take past the four-minute mark, too.
The title track’s opening riff really oozes Candlemass, although they pick up the pace some 30 seconds in, mixing in some mid-tempo chugs with some slower breakdowns, before getting back down to doom on the soaring chorus. “Kings of All That’s Lost” is about as doomy as this album gets, a seven-and-a-half-minute, super-slow-mo stomper that adds some of the sombre, longing melodies of Warning to the mix, while maintaining a more neo-classical, true-metal vocal over a more up-tempo chorus. It’s hard not to bang your fist to this one!
The album ends with a couple of eight-minute epics. “Complicit in Your Own Abuse” starts off slow, but quickly settles into an unsettling mid-paced tempo, with the peak-and-valley riffs providing ample opportunity for headbanging, and a couple super-slow sections thrown in for evil measure. And man, talk about a heavy topic! “Death Means Nothing” is a little bit longer and a lot more despondent, opening with a slow, longing vocal before a heavy pounding stomp kicks into gear. The chorus on this one might even make you shed a tear… but that’s not very metal, is it?