Tag Archives: monolithian

Review: Monolithian’s The Waning Moon

The mighty Monolithian have finally returned and they come baring a new 26 minute mini album called The Waning Moon. The blackened doom two-piece still manage to floor me with their enormous, devastating take on doom metal and with The Waning Moon they’ve even managed to cross over into new and unfamiliar territory.

However, before we get to said territory, opener Crone kicks things off and reminds us exactly what makes Monolithian one of the best low tempo metal bands out there. This 6 minute monster of a tune has a preposterously huge riff and a pounding rhythm that will certainly get those invisible oranges raised high. But then we get to the middle eight breakdown and the entire song steps up a notch with a black metal attack that will fuel a serious mosh pit or two. Crone is the sort of song that only Monolithian can make and it’s one of the strongest openings of any doom release.

But what have we here? The next song Nyarlathotep sees Monolithian reaching parts unknown; a reserved, psychedelic take on desert rock that’s expansive, atmospheric and hugely welcome. Monolithian once again manage to prove that despite being only two members strong, they still have a lot of ideas in reserve that can push their music into exciting new territory. It’s here where the album begins to show more variety in the song-writing and it proves that Monolithian are more than just a band who play slow, crushing doom flourished with fast bits.

The rest of The Waning Moon showcases the more familiar Monolithian sound of doom paired with black metal but now with the aforementioned exploration of desert rock, creating devastating slabs of sludgy, bass-lead metal that manages to sound utterly gargantuan. The scale of Monolithian’s music on The Waning Moon is verging on ridiculous, but it’s delivered with such confidence that it’s almost impossible not to lose yourself in.

The Waning Moon is a hugely successful burst of down-tempo aggression that sees Monolithian drawing on even more varied influences to great effect. It’s been hugely engrossing watching this band go from strength to strength on every release and if The Waning Moon is anything to go by then Monolithian’s next long-player will be an essential doom purchase.

9/10

Monolithian’s The Waning Moon is out now and available to buy direct from the band on limited edition purple vinyl.


Review: Slabdragger’s Rise of the Dawncrusher

a1678417040_10

It’s been a long time coming, but Slabdragger are back in action with their sophomore album Rise of the Dawncrusher; a massive, sludgy, behemoth of a concept album that improves on their debut in every conceivable way. Got your attention?

Slabdragger were already a force to be reckoned with and their debut album Regress showcased their ultra-dense grooves and long-form song structures in a fantastic way, but with Rise of the Dawncrusher, everything is now even heavier without sacrificing melody and it’s just glorious. Genuinely glorious. I felt like I was having a metal epiphany listening to this record. I imagine if Hendrix was into Black Sabbath, this is the sort of thing he’d make.

Opening with the 11 minute beast that is Mercenary Blues, Slabdragger put their quite brilliant guitar work front and centre and it makes for a seriously punishing yet hugely memorable experience that will keep fans of all things slow and groovy extremely satisfied. The amount of amazing riffs in this song should be illegal and they all deserve to be included in ‘Top 10 Riffs of All Time’ articles.

It doesn’t end there. This record is an absolute monster from start to finish. Slabdragger follow up the opening track with the unashamedly ripping Evacuate!; one of the most disgustingly noisy things Slabdragger have ever concocted. Then it’s back to the groove with the monstrous Shrine of Debauchery; a song with a title so metal it’s probably chrome-plated.

Look, I realise this review is big on the hyperbole, but it’s not often I’m given a record so delicious and as utterly mouth-watering as Rise of the Dawncrusher. It’s everything I want from a sludge record and more and it’s honestly quite difficult to believe it actually exists.

The UK is spoilt for great sludge as Slabdragger are competing with other brilliant acts like Limb, Gurt, Monolithian and Opium Lord, but Rise of the Dawncrusher sets a new standard for UK sludge metal. Slabragger have written a follow-up so utterly devastating that it demands your attention. Slabdragger, man; what a band.

10/10

Slabdragger’s Rise of the Dawncrusher is out now and available to buy on CD and vinyl from Holy Roar Records.


Review: Monolithian’s The Finest Day I Ever Lived, Was When Tomorrow Never Came.

monolithian

Blackened doom two-piece Monolithian have finally seen fit to drop an album that accurately showcases the band at their finest. Monolithian are a weird prospect in that their melody is entirely achieved through a bass guitar and while they sound absolutely beastly in a live setting, their recorded output tends to be a hit and miss affair in regards to capturing the size and weight of their sound. Thankfully, debut album The Finest Day I Ever Lived, Was When Tomorrow Never Came. captures this perfectly and it becomes Monolithian’s best work in the process.

For a band with only two members, Monolithian have a surprisingly large amount of ideas to showcase on this record. The band constantly switches from down-tempo, lurching sludge metal like on opener The Finest Day… to fast-paced blackened nastiness like Black Flame Candle. It’s a thrilling display of heaviness that keeps you on your toes throughout and occasionally both styles manage to blend resulting in some of the best material the band have ever written. Great examples of this come in the form of Second of the Istari and Treebeard which trudges along at a steady pace for the majority of its run-time before taking a turn for the dangerous and throwing in some filthy black metal riffs.

Then there’s album closer Thought Out of Existence. Clocking in at just under 13 minutes, this is a behemoth of a doom track that also features input from noise act Knifedoutofexistence. It turns out this collaboration is something of a revelation as not only does it showcase exactly what Monolithian are about, it also includes some wonderful atmosphere and tension that makes the experience feel wholly desperate and depraved. It’s one of the finest pieces of music the band have achieved and you owe it to yourself to hear it.

The binding element that really helps showcase the band’s music in the best light is the fantastic production and mix. Every aspect of the band’s sound is razor sharp yet all the dirt and grime that comes with something as disgusting as blackened doom metal is there for all to enjoy. This sounds like Monolithian playing live and it’s a frightening, crushing prospect that’s absolutely essential for fans of sludgy, bass-heavy metal.

Monolithian are quite a special little band. This guy and gal have managed to master their craft so well that the limitations of a two-piece are blown apart to create a sound that is… well, monolithic. The Finest Day I Ever Lived, Was When Tomorrow Never Came. is the album the band have always threatened to make and I welcome its arrival with open arms.

9/10

Monolithian’s The Finest Day I Ever Lived, Was When Tomorrow Never Came. is out now on limited edition 12″ vinyl through the band, Atomsmasher Records, Animal Defence Records and Skin & Bones Records.


Year End: The 5 Best Split Records of 2013

bestsplits

Before we start our list of the best split records of 2013, please remember that this list was decided by one person and therefore represents the opinions of one person. This will likely not reflect your own opinion but that’s okay; there’s room for more than one opinion in this crazy world of ours and your’s is just as valid. As per the theme of UK Scumscene, this list also contains releases by UK bands ONLY. Okay then, let’s get this show on the road:

5) War Wolf/Sob Story

warwolfsobstory

A double dose of crusty, sludgy hardcore from Brighton’s War Wolf and Sob Story. This split cassette contains some seriously abrasive stuff, but like a lot of the best UK hardcore it’s smart and bizarrely memorable for something so raucous. Both bands absolutely knock it out of the park but special mention has to be given to War Wolf who have put out a mini-album, this split and a proper long-player in this year alone.

4) Razoreater/Iced Out

What we said:

“Both bands put forward some of the best music they’ve recorded so far and do it in such a vicious way that they sound like they’ve put everything they had into these recordings. Razoreater and Iced Out have our attention and they’ll soon be coming for yours.”

Read the full review here.

3) Let it Die/Monolithian – Because the World is Perfidious, I Am Going Into Mourning

letitdiemonolithian

What we said:

“Let It Die and Monolithian’s split seven-inch is a savage showcase of two of the best UK underground metal bands and they’re on brilliant form. With songs like this, both bands won’t be playing the toilet circuit for much longer so you better get on board before you miss your opportunity. This is an essential addition to any metal fan’s collection.”

Read the full review here.

2) Let it Die/Pariso/Svalbard/MINE – Cover Buzz

4way_split

What we said:

“‘Cover Buzz’ is a wonderfully ambitious and overblown release. Fans of hardcore punk will find a lot to love as four of the UK’s brightest hopes play classic hardcore with all the piss and vinegar you’d expect from one of their own releases. It’s also brilliant to see five record labels stump up a bit of support for such an elaborate release. Records like this manage to showcase some of the most interesting ideas in UK heavy music and it’s a release we can’t recommend enough.”

Read the full review here.

1) Gurt/Limb – Split Roast

cover

This split was enormous amounts of fun and heavier than my balls after a year of abstinence. There hasn’t been any other split that’s been as thoroughly enjoyable all year. The pairing of both Gurt and Limb was a match made in heaven with both bands giving it their all.

What we said:

“Gurt and Limb’s ‘Split Roast’ is a wonderful release that is equal parts punishing and fun. How many doom records can you name that you would regard fun? This is the real pulling factor on ‘Split Roast’ and you can hear that both bands had an absolute blast making it. Is party doom a thing yet because I think both bands may have just invented it.”


Our Picks for Catbird’s Sunday Roasting on Bloodstock Radio (01/12/2013)

We returned to co-host Catbird’s Sunday Roasting beside James Begley of Hybris on the 1st of December 2013. Below is a list of our picks for the show and links to online stores that allow you to purchase the releases they are featured on. We thoroughly recommend you scope out the bands we featured as we truly believe they are some of the best UK rock and metal artists doing the rounds:

Monolithian – Yog Sothoth (buy here and here)
Limb – Plague Doctor (buy here)
Monolithian – The Dry (see links above)
Dinosaur Pile-Up – Peninsula (buy here)
Cleavers – I Can’t Wait Around For You (buy here)
Hang the Bastard – Sweet Mother (buy here)

You can now listen to a repeat of Catbird’s Sunday Roasting on Bloodstock Radio at 12pm on Wednesdays so don’t miss out!

For the next two weeks myself and James will be hosting the show as Catbird is away. Next week I will be interviewing Hybris live in the studio and on the 22nd of December Jamie Lenman will be in the studio for an interview and a live acoustic session.


News: Church of Fuck Flash Sale Now Live Until 9pm

churchoffuck

Those loveable scamps at Church of Fuck are running a flash sale that is only active tonight until 9pm BST. Every order placed from now until 9pm with a “mystery free gift”. Knowing the quality of Church of Fuck releases thus far, you may want to get on board and see what turns up in your mailbox.

Click here to be taken to Church of Fuck’s webstore and pick up some heavy music on a variety of formats. You might want to grab a copy of the following releases that we’ve reviewed as well:

Esoteric Youth – The Burden of Living
Monolithian – One/Zero
Swinelord – Life is Empty/I Feel Fucked
Razoreater/Iced Out Split 7″


Review: Let It Die/Monolithian Split

Metallic hardcore mob Let It Die and doom metallers Monolithian might seem like an odd pairing for a split release, but it actually becomes very apparent as to why these bands have teamed up. What you get with this split is two sides of brilliantly diverse metal that compliment each other surprisingly well.

LET IT DIE

Let It Die are just getting more and more ferocious with every release. Their metallic hardcore is now taking elements from black metal and power violence to create a relentless attack that is punctuated with savage breakdowns and even the odd slab of doom like on the lead track Boredom/Inertia.

Let It Die’s side of the split only comes in at five and a half minutes, but it packs in a smorgasbord of metal influences and mashes them together into this unwieldy but hugely enjoyable blast of pure aggression. Second track Torture is probably the most extreme thing the band have put to record and it fidgets, twists and jolts like a secondary school student electrocuting a frog (that would make a pretty good music video lads. I won’t charge). Let It Die are on top form here and it’s amazing to witness.

9/10

MONOLITHIAN

Monolithian’s doom leanings means they can only fit a single song on their side of the split but luckily it shows the band at their best. Emaciate/Euthanise begins with the usual doom lurch that you expect from the band but it doesn’t take too long before the band put their foot to the floor for a brilliant section of punky rhythms and blast-beats.

It’s still baffling to think that a sound this huge is coming from only 2 people but Monolithian have found their style and absolutely mastered it. The band offer some hugely catchy grooves to get your ears around and do it all with a single, yet heavily distorted bass guitar. If I was in a band with a multiple guitarists and I wasn’t getting a sound as big as Monolithian’s then I’d seriously have to consider not bothering.

9/10

Let It Die and Monolithian’s split seven-inch is a savage showcase of two of the best UK underground metal bands and they’re on brilliant form. With songs like this, both bands won’t be playing the toilet circuit for much longer so you better get on board before you miss your opportunity. This is an essential addition to any metal fan’s collection.


Thanks to Tight to the Nail for the stream.

Let It Die and Monolithian’s split is available to pre-order from Moshtache Records on heavyweight, 70g, black, seven-inch vinyl now.


Interview: Monolithian

Welcome back to Double Cross, our regular feature on bands in the UK heavy music scene with female members. In this edition we speak to Simon Walker from Monolithian.

We are Monolithian. We are a 2 piece blackened doom band from Falmouth in Cornwall. We consist of Simon Walker (bass and vocals) and Shannon Green (drums).

What introduced you to doom metal?

I (Si) was introduced to doom metal through stoner rock and stoner metal, discovering new and heavier bands all the time. I started listening to Sleep, Electric Wizard and Bongzilla. It went on from there. Shannon was introduced to doom metal through me as at the time she was listening to mostly black metal and death metal.

What’s your proudest musical achievement in Monolithian to date?

Playing with bands such as Big Business, Unsane, Orange Goblin and Annal Nathrakh have been massive honours for us, also the release of our first 12″ vinyl was a trip. The fact that so many people from different musical groups have welcomed us also makes us feel very proud and privileged.

2013 has been a big year for you. You seem to be pumping out new music at a rate of knots with the One/Zero 12″, the split with Ed Wood, another split with Let It Die and then a covers EP. Why so many releases?

It’s all a big fluke really. The One EP has been out for nearly 2 years and Zero was recorded a year ago. It’s just taken this long to finally get it re-mastered and released properly. We originally had a split planned with Witch Cult but during the writing process for the WxCx split we were approached by Ed Wood, so we just recorded a bit more and started organizing a split with them whilst WxCx sorted out there side of the other split. During this time they broke up and Let It Die jumped on board to take their place. It all happened very quickly, which is why we have two 7″s and a 12″ released within 3 months of each other. It’s all a fluke. As for the covers EP, me and Shannon have always wanted to do something to help people who have become homeless and we thought this would be a cool way to raise some money for a local homeless charity and spin some people out by recording cover versions of songs people might not expect.

Is there a reason why you’ve decided to focus on hardcore bands to collaborate with on your splits? Why not other doom bands?

Down in Cornwall there is an extreme metal scene and there is a hardcore scene. Though we do play metal shows we have always been more welcomed by the hardcore/punk scene. Me and Shannon would both consider ourselves more like punks then metal heads. It’s just the extremity of the Monolithian sound would make people think other wise. As a band we share the same views, beliefs and moral values of other hardcore and punk bands in the underground scene, so I think this is why we gravitate towards them and vice-versa. We would love to do a split with another doom/sludge/black metal band but as of right now we haven’t been approached. Only time will tell.

What bands that you’ve either played with or admire that you would recommend to our readers?

We recommend that everybody listen to: War Wolf, F. Emasculata, Ed Wood, Let It Die, Nu Pogodi, 2 Sick Monkeys, Swinelord, Razoreater, Iced Out, The Wounded Kings, Ice Dragon, Crypt Lurker, Sea Bastard, Beartrap, Black Veins, Esoteric Youth, Pine Barrens, Spider Kitten, Brotherhood of the Lake and Grand Collapse. There are many more we could mention but I think this will do for now.

What’s coming up next in the Monolithian pipeline?

We are hoping to book some kind of tour that’s more than a couple of days. There are so many places in the UK and Europe where I know people would like us to come, but it’s been hard for us to travel so hopefully we will sort something out. We’re going to focus on writing a full length release that will blow everything we have done in the past out of the water. We have shows coming up with Eyehategod as well as Leopalooza Festival and Dirty Weekend Festival in Wrexham where we get to play with bands such as Oi Polloi and Extreme Noise Terror. We’re just going to try and play more and release more music.

What’s the best way for people to keep up-to-date with Monolithian updates and news?

Pretty much just check us out on facebook.com/monolithian. We don’t do that Twitter bullshit.

Thanks for chatting with us! Hail Satan, play loud and slow, go vegan.


Review: Monolithian’s One/Zero

Being a 2 piece band, Monolithian have no place sounding so huge. The sludge metallers who consist of Simon on bass/vocals and Shannon on drums are like a freight train of doomy grooves, smattered with the odd moment of death metal prowess.

One/Zero is an expanded version of the band’s One EP with an additional 4 new recordings. Monolithian don’t muck around when showcasing what they’re about and quickly begin with a massive, sludge metal riff before launching into a furious blast of death metal. This is Monolithian’s winning formula and the band pull off this fusion of genres effortlessly. It doesn’t surprise me that 5 different labels are backing this release.

A real stand-out moment comes in The Dry which puts the band’s heavier side at the forefront. The death metal riffing and drumming is balanced nicely with a punky bounce that proves there’s a lot more to this band than alternating between doom and death. It also goes a long way to prove that electric guitars are unnecessary if you have a bass guitar and a dirty distortion pedal. It really is outstanding how Monolithian have managed to sound this big with such a limited set-up.

It’s a bit of a shame then that the Zero half of the record turns out a mixed bag. While it is obvious that the band are talented songwriters, the production quality changes and greatly juxtaposes with the One half. The drums in Baptism are a good example of this as they are significantly under-produced which results in them taking on a much muddier sound. The double bass drumming is reduced to a low rumbling which doesn’t do Shannon the justice she deserves.

Luckily, this is improved on the following 3 songs which include the epic Under the Obelisk. This song thunders along for a staggering 7 minutes without getting boring. Doom metal has the tendency to worship one riff for far too long but Monolithian keep things nice and varied, giving the listener a lot more meat to tuck into over your typical, pretentious, sludge. They even get a chance to throw in a faster section which will more than likely whip up some violent circle pits.

Monolithian are an impressive little prospect. The doom metal duo pepper their music with the right amount of death and crust that offers up one of the most interesting sludge releases we’ve heard in a long time. One/Zero is an enormous, towering beast of a doom record that will make the listener feel like they truly are standing Under the Obelisk.

8/10

Monolithian’s One/Zero can be pre-ordered now from Church of Fuck, Moshtache Records, Bitter North, Riotous Outburst Records and Atomsmasher Records.


News: Church of Fuck Release Free ‘Year of Sorrow’ Compilation

UK metal label Church of Fuck have released a free, downloadable compilation called Year of Sorrow which features a song from all of their 2013 releases, both scheduled and already available.

You can stream and download it from the below widget:

Church of Fuck’s next releases are the Razoreater/Iced Out split 7″ and Monolithian’s One/Zero on 12″. Click the links to pre-order both releases.