Album Review: Monuments - 'The Amanuensis'

24 June 2014 | 2:11 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

The perfect balance of sheer aggression and beautiful melody.

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In the two years since their last release, Monuments have undergone significant change, acquiring their new vocalist, Chris Barretto (ex-Periphery). Changing singers is always a hard feat to get right, but new release, ‘The Amanuensis’ proves to be a catchy and seductive album, with an easy transition.

Starting with the hard hitting, ‘I, The Creator’ (having done the live rounds before), the song immediately highlights the more frequently used clean vocals that Barretto brings to the album. ‘Origin Of Escape’ is where the fun really begins though. This is matched with slower melodies that create an intense build up. The calm before the storm, if you will.

If there is one thing Monuments have done well here, it is the balance which sees the band make a heavy and aggressive album while incorporating equal amounts of beauty and harmony. ‘Horcrux’ is a stand out track with a smooth transition between the vocal patterns of screams and growls to calming and beautiful cleans. These melodies when mixed with the intensity create something memorable.

While melody features prominently, the record stills carries depth and aggression. ‘The Alchemist’ and ‘Quasimodo’ allow you to feel the pure anger radiating through the delivery.

I, The Destroyer’ is a solid track with a range and diversity present. The bass lines, the riffs and the hearty vocals come together to make a monster of a track. This seems to be the counterpart to the aforementioned ‘I, The Creator'. Ending with the odd hymn-like track ‘Samsara’ it feels very spiritual but a little odd-placed.

Monuments have found a consistency. Prog and tech can often rob a band of continuity. When so many ideas are competing, things can often get muddled. Thankfully, 'The Amanuensis' bypasses any common pitfalls and delivers a welcomed listen.

'The Amanuensis' is a truly infectious album, which shows the band making their way up in the genre. The clean vocals are beautiful and will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day, while the technicality of the instruments is on par. 

1. I, The Creator

2. Origin Of Escape

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3. Atlas

4. Horcrux

5. Garden Of Sankhara

6. The Alchemist

7. Quasimodo

8. Saga City

9. Jinn

10. I, The Destroyer

11. Samsara