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Monolithe – Nebula Septem Award winner

Nebula Septem
by Lauren Fonto at 03 April 2018, 7:46 AM

French doom metal ensemble MONOLITHE have released a platter detailing an odyssey through the cosmos in the form of “Nebula Septem”. This is the band’s seventh full-length release, with the seven songs each lasting seven minutes, which is a nice touch.

This was an album which grew on me with subsequent listens. Its dense and claustrophobic moments don’t exactly make for an easy listen, but this is balanced by the majestic qualities of the music. “Coil Shaped Volutions” is a highlight of the album, with crushing funeral doom passages and supple progressive metal elements. The guitar leads shimmer and soar above the moody rhythms below it. “Engineering The Rip” feels like a journey to another universe, with its transcendent feel. On this track and throughout the album, ethereal and haunting keyboard parts thicken the atmosphere, without ever coming across as unnecessary. The piano and electronica parts in the intro to “Fathom the Deep” lend a relaxed vibe. It contrasts effectively with the arrival of the full band, with interesting layered guitar riffs. The main guitar melody is infectious, and the keyboards in the background add intrigue. “Gravity Flood” is a moving and melancholic ending to this beautiful, yet despairing set of compositions.

The band is adept at creating strong melodies which hold up very well over the course of each song. Their cosmic theme is enhanced by the expansive production which gives all the elements plenty of breathing room. For me, there was no deadwood on this album – everything felt necessary to the album as a whole, and none of the tracks ever drifted into aimless musical tangents. MONOLITHE have created a distinct doom metal sound on this album. Some of the elements may remind listeners of acts such as NOVEMBER’S DOOM and MY DYING BRIDE, but I’d say that the band has steered clear of being derivatives of others. “Nebula Septem” may grow on others, too, with its dark beauty.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Anechoic Aberration
2. Burst In The Event Horizon
3. Coil Shaped Volutions
4. Delta Scuti
5. Engineering The Rip
6. Fathom The Deep
7. Gravity Flood
Rémi Brochard – Vocals, Guitar
Sylvain Bégot – Guitar
Benoît Blin – Guitar
Olivier Defives – Bass
Matthieu Marchand – Keyboards
Thibault Faucher – Drums
Record Label: LADLO Productions


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