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The Monolith Deathcult - Tetragrammaton Award winner

The Monolith Deathcult
by Spyros Stasis at 29 July 2013, 12:48 PM

It is always interesting when a Death Metal album comes along, incorporating influences from other musical genres, in this case industrial and electronic music with a fair bit of ambiance thrown in there. And this mere interest becomes fixation when said band is able to produce an album of such extremity and intensity. So, “Tetragrammaton” presents the strange case of THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT. The band from Holland, featuring members of Doom / Death legends BEYOND BELIEF (as a note find their second mind-blowing album, “Rave The Abyss”. Any fan of extreme music should have a listen to it), has signed a deal with Season Of Mist is releasing its fifth full-length.

Seven epic songs await the listener within “Tetragrammaton”, with THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT constantly seeking new ways to expand their horizons with whatever they see fit. The quite atmospheric start of “Gods Among Insects” soon explodes into a Death Metal outburst. The samples, keyboards and effects are able to create a rich background on top of which THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT are letting loose all their aggression. The narrating voice, sounding something between a prophet of doom and a supreme artificial intelligence construct, plays a strange part and although isolated it might appear quite weird, in the context of “Tetragrammaton” works terrifically. The ambient parts come in unexpectedly and give way to the more extreme parts equally sneaky, making the album much more enthralling.

Even though all the information that you need in order to realize the nature of THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT is presented to you in a compact manner from the opening track of the album, the band is still able to surprise you. “Drugs, Thugs & Machetes” introduces tribal experimentations (there are even some whistles in there), while at the same time the band is able to retain its grandiose sound combined as always with an overwhelming fury. The use of samples in the track is exquisite, including even a passage from the famous Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

In other instances, it is the band’s industrial side that prevails in the end. “Human Wave Attack” with its rhythmic patterns is taking over and intoxicates the listener with the unreal groove of the band, while the narration captures your attention and the effects are messing with your head. THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT move in a similar manner in “Todesnacht Von Stammheim”, although there are some obvious differences. While ‘Human Wave Attack” was an all-out assault, “Todesnacht Von Stammheim” relies more to its dark ambiance aided by the magnificent use of samples and the grim vocals existing lower in the mix, whispering straight into your ears. The pace of the track is also much more ritualistic, something immediately noticeable about three minutes in the song with the orchestral parts accompanying perfectly the beat.

Of course there are moments when the death metal brutality is unleashed in full force, as is the case with “S.A.D.M.”. The deadly sharp riffs of the track are bound with the paranoid leads and solos while the drums are set into surpassing the speed of light. What is even more impressive is that the band is able to once again bring forth its grandiose self in an impressive manner, especially in the last minute of the track with the soul shattering melodies coming into play. And if that was not enough, THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT will make you shit yourself with the unreal groove of “Qasr Al-Nihaya” while the effect beams are dancing over your head. The Eastern melodies (please, do not start comparing NILE with every Death Metal band that uses these melodies) are present in the background while the band is unleashing a perfect storm reaching a disturbing crescendo about five minutes in.

And when you think that this is as brutal as THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT can get, they give you a moment to rethink that with the beginning of “Aslimu…” nailing you to the wall. The track makes a shift of style, with the ambiance taking over, retreating to a more mid pace tempo and introducing unearthly chants just to make things even more nerve wrecking. If you are patient enough to listen through about two minutes of silence after the end of the track, the band will reward you with something quite amusing.

In the last few years there seems to be something very interesting in play within the death metal genre. Bands like THE PROJECT HATE MCMXCIX which have been going strong for quite some time are starting to have a much larger influence on the genre followed by the chosen few acts such as AZURE EMOTE (make sure to check their latest album, “The Gravity of Impermanence”) and THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT. Of course every one of the bands previously mentioned approach Death Metal in very different ways but the endgame is the same in its case: expand the horizons of the scene and evolve the genre.

4 Star Rating

1. Gods Among Insects
2. Human Wave Attack
3. Drugs, Thugs & Machetes
4. Todesnacht Von Stammheim
5. S.A.D.M.
6. Qasr Al-Nihaya
7. Aslimu!!! - All Slain Those Who Bring Down Our Highly Respected Symbols to the Lower Status of the Barren Earth
Sjoerd Visch – Drums
Michel Dekker – Guitars, Vocals
Carsten Altena – Keyboards, Samples
Robin Kok – Vocals, Bass
Ivo Hilgenkamp – Guitars
Record Label: Season Of Mist


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