Album Review: Monuments - 'Gnosis'

7 October 2012 | 7:47 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Djent lovers deliver debut offering

More Monuments More Monuments

The djent bandwagon is quickly resembling one of those Indian rail services where passengers cram the carriages, windows and ceilings for a desired spot. Everyone wants a ticket. And the motor comparisons might not be far off, the musical trend is a contemporary locomotive – it shows no signs of slowing down.

UK’s Monuments are another to throw their names into the genre discussion with their new slab of palm mutes, polyrhythms and melodic aggression, ‘Gnosis’.

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Is it almost a given that to play this style of music you have to go through a variety of line-up changes, most notably in the vocal department? As a starting point, it’s admirable that Monuments remain. ‘Gnosis’ might be a debut offering but these lads are not followers, they’ve paid their early dues. Subsequently, it’s by no mistake that this album has a strong sense of personality and purpose to it.

Expectations are tempered and preconceptions forcibly removed in this instance. A face-value approach always serves its purpose. However, initially ‘Gnosis’ doesn’t immediately grab the listener. ‘Admit Defeat’ is a little muddled. The opening of ‘Degenerate’ is effective and re-aligns the attention, but it still doesn’t have that unique perspective some of Monuments’ peers offer. ‘Doxa’ is where the release starts to find its feet. It is heavy, defined and laced with melodic hooks.

We don’t want to draw obvious comparisons (even when they’re there), but allowing one significant bit of analysis, Monuments sound is in the middle-ground of the djent range. Not as heavy as Periphery and not as melodic as TesseracT.

97% Static’ fits the above assertions. While ‘Empty Vessels Make the Most Noise’ is placed with the aesthetics of the style. The rhythm section has that off-kilter but flowing feel, with the vocals mixing between deep throat deliveries and clean sung moments. ‘Regenerate’ is the best point to the highlight.

Gnosis’ is a competent and enjoyable display. perhaps just not as memorable that one would hope for. It will generate some sustained interest and provide points of interest, but that’s where the positives stop.

‘Gnosis’ is a fitting snapshot of a band that while young, have endured through difficulties. It’s still a bit of a roller coaster with prominent highs and clear lows, but it has its moments. Monuments just need to keep pushing forward and they’ll eventually get to their desired destination.

1. Admit Defeat

2. Degenerate

3. Doxa

4. The Uncollective

5. Blue Sky Thinking

6. 97% Static

7. Empty Vessels Make the Most Noise

8. Regenerate

9. Denial