The Monks of Mellonwah are a quartet out of Sydney, Australia. They’ve got yet another new offering for your listening pleasure.” Afraid To Die” is volume 2 of their debut album “Turn the People”. “Afraid To Die” dropped on October 4th of this year and can be purchased on the band’s Bandcamp page. There you will also find part one of “Turn the People”, “Ghost Stories”, which came out June 29th of this year. The final installment will be released in December of this year.
Monks of Mellonwah are not yet a household name. This is despite scooping up a bunch of awards in 2012. At the Los Angeles Music Awards they won the “International Rock Artist of the Year” and at the Artists in Music Awards they won “Best Indie Rock Band”. What’s all the hubbub? Have a listen to the “Afraid To Die” EP and hear for yourself.
The opening track on “Afraid to Die” is the title track. ‘Afraid to Die’ is very dance-able. This song is why the Solid Gold Dancers were very popular. Vikram Kaushik‘s vocals are easy on the ears. Vikram‘s guitar work with Joe de la Hoyde is wicked groovy! Their guitar work is interlaced with synthesizer and it produces a solid win. “Afraid to Die” has tinges of Wham UK when they were hot. It has shades of John Waite. There is a run at 3:04 that hints at Led Zeppelin. I know. It makes the head spin; but, it works beautifully.
The second track is entitled ‘Downfall’. It starts out very Yngwie Malmsteen with various runs up and down the fret board. There is a lot happening composition wise before the one minute mark. It sounds a bit disjointed; but after the minute mark, everything comes together. “You always see the change…” is in the song’s chorus and it’s a true sentiment. The over all feel, style and character of the song changes. ‘Downfall’ keeps the listener engaged. The Monks of Mellonwah definitely know how to write a good tune!
The last two songs are ‘Alive For A Minute’ and ‘I Belong to You’. The previous has a strong 90’s pop rock vibe to it. It perks up your ears and you have a “Hey! I’ve heard this before!” reaction. While ‘I Belong to You’ is more of a soulful lullaby. The song truly showcases Vikram‘s vocals.
Monks of Mellonwah and this release, “Afraid to Die” are what I term “people friendly music”. It’s something you can play when your non-metal friends come over for dinner and drinks. It’s something you can play and the whole family will enjoy. There is enough of an edge to keep a metal head happy; but no so much it makes people flee in terror.