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Monsterworks - Earth

Monsterworks
Earth
by Daniel Fox at 02 September 2013, 3:29 PM

It's not often you hear a band that combines Thrash, Progressive, and even a little Black and Stoner Metal into a single album, where each song takes on a different genre trajectory. London-based MONSTERWORKS have done that with their new record, “Earth”, and for such a seemingly underground band, is masterfully recorded and mixed. Overall, the song writing is mature, complex and unpredictable, showing clear progressive influences, whilst still retaining the fury and bombastic riffage of Thrash. Each of the eight tracks has something unique to offer.

The opener, “From Dust and Gravity”, almost screams BLACK SABBATH in its instrumentation, a mid-tempo, driving track, which adopts searing, screechy vocals from Jon, which may end up grating on one's ears. I am unsure whether his vocal style suits this particular track, but the musicianship and lyrical ideas completely make up for it. Loud and heavy, as an opener should be. “Late Heavy Bombardment”, is that not an amazing title? The second track contains an odd mix of PANTERA and IMMORTAL, combining the groove-driven riffs of the former and the crushing blast riffs of the latter, and features some excellent screams by Jon, who's vocal capabilities are proving to be highly versatile. “The Last Universal Ancestor” opens with a beautiful acoustic passage, and royally shocks ones ears by instantaneously commencing a crushing thrash passage that rambles on for the rest of the song; and is cleaned up by my favorite guitar solo on the album. In “Oxygenation” I am hearing a few more classic nuances, but also starting to sense a strong Prog Rock presence. Jon's vocals take a surprisingly pleasant turn with some excellent clean singing. The influences – they are simply everywhere and come from everywhere. “Powered by Fate” takes an extremely heavy turn with prominent chugs, and a return to some menacing screams, another beautiful guitar solo, and, wouldn't you know it? A complete 180-turnaround to a soft fade-out. “Bookended By Extinction”; I am hearing one, two, three, four.. I've lost count of how many genres this one, two-minute song contains. I hear Black, Grind, Punk, Thrash and Prog all at once; the song is an utter roller-coaster and has us begging for more. That's the only problem with this song; it needed to be longer; I wanted to hear more. “Aeon of Man” experiences more of a clear musical flow; a strongly-Proggy acoustic intro, that leads slowly into some screamed chugs, screeched thrash, all the while accompanied by an acoustic track and very profound lyric writing. For the closing track, what would complete a Progressive-Thrash-Blackened-Death album more than an… Almost ten minute song? “Earth” sums up the entire record, with clean transitions between heavy metal riffs and beautifully clean acoustic passages; am I hearing some “Queen”? My wondering is realised halfway, with a very familiar-sounding, atmospheric interlude, before returning to their very special brand of Metal fury.

This band has something to offer for any fan of metal or rock music; while the vocals may initially come off as annoying, I believe they may have a tendency to grow on the listener with continued perusal of their work. In general, the musicianship is excellent; each of the band members are apparently highly skilled with their instruments, and use them to forge songs that are unable to be chained down by stereotype and genre.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. From Dust and Gravity
2. Late Heavy Bombardment
3. The Last Universal Ancestor
4. Oxygenation
5. Powered by Fate
6. Bookended by Extinction
7. Aeon of Man
8. Earth
Lineup:
Jon – Vocals / Guitar
Hugo – Bass
James – Drums
Marcus – Lead Guitar
Record Label: Mortal Music
     


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