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Monolith - Mountain

by Lauren Fonto at 16 September 2016, 9:22 AM

MONOLITH is a German band who has gone back to the sounds of the 70s for inspiration, and added a generous helping of old school doom metal. They’ve done a repspectable job of balancing retro sounds with modernization. I’ve seen some people comparing these guys to BLACK SABBATH, and those comparisons are quite apt, in my opionion. Ralf Brummerloh’s vocals are probably the most distinctly SABBATH element, since he sounds a lot like SABBATH’s vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. Brummerloh sounds especially Osbourne-like on “High Horse”. However, a noticeable difference between the bands is that MONOLITH’s lyrics don’t seem to be as dark as their inspiration. The production on this album is bright and clean, given its heavy contents. The analogue recording equipment makes its presence known, especially when only the bass is playing.

The album seems to alternate between hard rock and doom metal, which works well for them. “Standing Tall” is a powerful 70s-styled rock number, with some doom parts thrown in. Brummerloh gives one of the best vocal performances of the album, and Ron Osenbrück breaks out a trippy solo, which had a particularly 70s feel. “High Horse” is a mid-tempo hard rocker with a catchy melody. Jann Worthman gets a moment of quiet to show off his bass chops, and gives the rest of the album a rock-steady rhythm section on which to build.
Some serious doom comes in the form of “Vultures” an ominous, gut-shaking song. I liked Andre Dittman’s tom fills on this number. The clean solo drifts like a mirage in the desert. In contrast to this heavy number is “Moonshine Medication”, an up-tempo track which provides a break in the slower tracks. Following from that, “Lies & Deceit” is another faster number with an upbeat musical tone, despite the not-so-upbeat lyrical matter. “Mountain” is a good album to chill out to, but it might not set all doom fans’ worlds afire. Sounding like another band isn’t a bad thing, but the borderline derivative sound was a low point for me on this album.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Mountain
2. Vultures
3. Standing Tall
4. High Horse
5. Moonshine Medication
6. Lies & Deceit
7. Tide
8. Blackbird

Ralf Brummerloh – Vocals, guitars
Ron Osenbrück – Guitars
Jann Worthmann – Bass, vocals (backing)
Andre Dittmann – Drums, vocals (backing)
Record Label: Final Gate Records


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