I would like to preface this review by saying that I hate sub genres and genre labeling in general, it is lazy, derivative and does absolutely nothing to help bands in the long run, other than it gives hack journalists buzz words to use in order to shift their crappy magazines, whilst at the same time spawning many copy cat bands that are just piggy backing off other people’s talent and ideas like brain damaged leeches.
I feel that the above statement is important to this review as I fear that Monuments are a band that is in danger of becoming victim to sub genre labeling, classifying the band as ‘Djent’ (a ridiculous sub genre if ever there was one) does them not only a massive disservice but is also insulting, as is the label itself as pretty much any of the bands in this supposed genre are far too intelligent and forward thinking to be stuck with such a hackneyed title.
Monuments are a great band, I feel its important to get that out the way nice and early, the band has been together for a while and their debut album “Gnosis” has been gestating for what seems like an age now, but through line up changes and a few minor hiccups the finished product is here and what a sight to behold it is.
Not since the days of Sikth has a British band released an album with such invention, and such a painstaking attention to detail. New vocalist Matt Rose steals the show here bringing real gravity and conviction in his vocal delivery, there isn’t a single vocal on this album that I don’t believe in and its all down to him, he puts in a great effort and uses his voice to carry the music to a new level that in lesser hands would have fallen flatter than they do here.
Not that the band are slouches by any stretch of the imagination, as the time that it’s taken to get the album done has allowed the band to hone their craft and really develop the songs over a period of time, allowing for a far more tight musical experience than we could have possibly expected. The band puts ambient soundscapes with crushing violent guitars and pounding drums, although this is nothing new the band finds a way to make it sound fresh and puts a new spin on things. Tracks like ‘Degenerate’ and ‘Doxa’ hint at the greatness that follows early on and set the bar high, fortunately the band delivers in spades, ‘Empty Vessels make the most noise’ ‘Blue Sky Thinking’ and ‘%’ showcase perfectly what Monuments are all about.
With “Gnosis” Monuments have delivered a stunning opening salvo onto the world, delivering not only one of the best debut albums I’ve heard in sometime, but also one of the best albums of 2012, and with this album they have given the world a tiny taste of what they can expect going forward, as great as “Gnosis” is can you imagine how amazing album number 2 is going to be?