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Monolith – Lord Conspirator

Lord Conspirator
by Joseph Hausmann at 06 May 2020, 7:18 AM

Hailing out of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, MONOLITH has released their first full-length album “Lord Conspirator” through MMD Records. This four-piece Extreme Metal group brings a dark sound blended with Death Metal gutturals and instrumentals that has become popular in the genre. They have put a great deal of effort in crafting this album and that is to be commended for their dedication and time to their craft.

To kick off the album we have the track "The Lord Conspirator." This track begins with discordant tones and an ominous presence. It then builds in a distorted wave of sounds, distortion turned up for the instrumentals. The bass line is very clear in this track which I did enjoy. The song just has this dark, menacing feel that you can’t shake. The vocals put me off this track though; the lows were decent but when reaching for the mids and highs, it lost its intensity for me. "The Descent" feels like a run-of-the-mill Black Metal song to me. Long repetitive riffs that change slightly throughout the track to keep you mildly interested. The vocals in this track are better though providing some interesting moments. The speed change toward the end of the track breaks away from this to add a bit of a different layer.

"The Abyss" was a rough one for me. The riffs are very interesting but the way they were arranged, just didn’t fit. Using discordant tones for some portions of a song is interesting but using them throughout an entire song just never gives the listener the foundation that they need to hold on to the track. It does give an unnerving feeling, but that’s about it. I will say that the drum work was on point in this song. "Nightfall" has some interesting layers. The clean guitars really break away from some of the over-distortion in early parts of the album. Pair that with vocals that found the power within and you have a decent track. The war drum chug of the instrumentals add a nice layer of diversity that is lacking somewhat in this album. I definitely like this song the most off "Lord Conspirator." "The Perilous Edge" finds us back in the Death Metal arena. The vocals are deep and powerful. The instrumentals also mimic the intensity of the vocals, giving the track a sense of power. The only thing is that the mid-range vocals that were off-putting earlier in the album have returned. Overall though it's a decent track.

"Lord Conspirator" definitely does fall in the vein of Extreme Metal. It's on the fringes, buried deep within other genres. MONOLITH has lived up to that tag. When it comes to the sound of the album though, I really wish there was a better blend of elements instead of each track being separate from the other. Part of the album is Black Metal. Part is Death Metal, which is alright. Now, if these elements were combined in a better way, I think this album could have been a lot more interesting and would have had a good sense of continuity instead of sounding like two separate albums. But this may just be my opinion on it so if you wanna give it a chance then by all means go check it out.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 3
Production: 4

2 Star Rating

1. The Lord Conspirator
2. The Descent
3. The Abyss
4. Nightfall
5. Black Earth’s Gate
6. The Perilous Edge
7. The Profound Wells of Fire
8. Saturn
Christopher Paterson – Guitar and Vocals
Andrew Viviers – Guitar and Vocals
Coburn Green – Bass and vocals
David Mills – Drums
Record Label: MMD Records


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Edited 04 December 2022

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