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Monolith Cult : Gospel Of Despair

Monolith Cult deliver a brand of old school sounding epic doom that just barely fails to deliver into the excellent category.

For the last six years Monolith Cult have been chiseling their brand of Doom that harkens back to the spirit of early Candlemass. Rumbling crunchy guitars bowl you over but underneath the murk lies a very sophisticated knowledge of the genre where melodies often harmonize briefly to really draw you in. But is it enough to really stick with you?

Fortunately Monolith Cult know how to craft an album so for the most part this just works. The music generally follows a fairly predictable formula, Big riffs+Hooky melodies+ good vocals= profit. And why would you need to change it? Doom as this is, it's still metal god damn it, so give me riffs! And big riffs there a' plenty! All provided sonically on a excellently produced record. HUGE sounding guitars , nice presence behind the kit and vocals that sit on top nicely. The bass is there but mostly its buried to provide cohesion on the riffs and there is nothing wrong with that.

So you're probably wondering "ok then, why the 7/10?", well there are a few minor quibbles I have with it. First off, I can't help but feel like its just more of the same thing within this Epic Doom genre of late. This sort of thing is becoming typical and it really needs a shot somewhere to really get over that hump and sadly I truly believe it is within the vocals that more could have been done. Don't get me wrong Bryan Outlaw is a tremendous vocalist never sounding strained and sounding completely comfortable with what he's doing but the melodies aren't particularly hooky. This leave most of the hooks within the guitars and past the riffs sounding huge sometimes aren't particularly catchy either (not to say they are bad though!). In fact the melodies and harmonies are generally the hooks for me within each particular song. And when you're doing a genre like this which is so closely related to other bands I really do feel that trying to provide a hook or something a tad different becomes incredibly important to make you stand out. A shout out to 'Sympathy for the Living' for being my favourite example of where everything comes together beautifully. The vocals and the guitars work here together almost perfectly and really show what this band is capable of.

The only other thing I could fault it for is basically nothing changes throughout the record. By that I mean by the end things feel even more like we've been here before. Just more variation would really help things out alot here. Just a bit more than old school worship and variation would do a lot in propelling these guys to the top. In the end though if you like big sounding riffs and that old school Candlemass sounding doom you could do a lot worse to satiate your thirst for the meantime. Just don't expect it to stay with you like the classics.

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Reviewer's rating: 7/10


Tracklist :
1. Disconnection Syndrome
2. The Gospel Of Despair
3. Kings Of All That's Lost
4. Chothia In Memorium
5. Sympathy For The Living
6. Complicit In Your Own Abuse
7. Death Means Nothing

Duration : Approx. 42 minutes

Visit the Monolith Cult bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-09-17 by Eli Elliott
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