Tuesday 15 September 2015

Behold The Monolith - Architects Of The Void (Album Review)

Release date: September 29th 2015. Label: Self Released. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Architects Of The Void: Tracklisting

1.Umbral Vale
2.Philosopher's Blade
3.The Mithriditist
4.Lord of Bones
5.Black Days Of...
6.Between Oder and the Vistula
7.Architects of the Void

Band Members:

Jordan Nalley - Vocals
Matt Price - Guitar, vocals
Jason "Cas" Casanova - Bass
Chase Manhattan - Drums


Behold The Monolith return with their eagerly awaited 3rd album – Architects Of The Void. This is an album I didn’t expect to see especially after the tragic loss of bassist/vocalist Kevin McDade. I’m a huge fan of Kevin’s work on the first two Behold The Monolith releases. Defender, Redeemist is one of the best Sludge/Stoner Metal albums of 2012. It’s an album I listen to this very day.

The guys could of called it quits and moved onto other things. However, they wisely decided to regroup and get new members to join the band. Now we have Jordan on Vox and Jason on bass. Architects Of The Void is a different sound to Defender, Reedemist whilst still offering the familiar riffs they created on their acclaimed earlier releases. Behold The Monolith offer a more blackened doom/thrash style of sound on this album and it’s a heavy as heck experience you will find very hard to beat.

Opening track – Umbral Vale – perfectly creates a bleak mood of warped blackened doom metal matched against a doomier psychedelic atmospheric sound. It’s one of the albums shortest tracks but it shows you what to expect for the rest of the album.

Second track – Philosopher’s Blade – has a slight Mastodon progressive feel near the start though the band soon return to their own style of Blackened Doom/Thrash as the vocals changes the atmosphere to one of bleak darkness. Shades of Prog Metal and Stoner Metal riffs create a sense of approaching doom with the faster style of Thrash guitar based sounds matched against the heavy pounding drums. Philospher’s Blade is undeniably heavy and if you dig 80s style Thrash/Speed Metal then Behold The Monolith has that area covered. As this is one of the fastest and most furious songs I’ve heard this year. It can be quite trippy at times with the band offering a different style of progressive metal that you maybe used to.

Third track – The Mithridtist – is perhaps the albums darkest and most experimental song as the band cannot seem to settle on a set sound. The vocals drift from Death based growls to a more stripped back prog rock feel that has shades of Mastodon around them. This is one of the albums standout tracks as it shows you how creative and undeniably heavy the band actually is.

Fourth track – Lord Of Bones – is another creepy and dramatic slice of Psych based Doom/Sludge/Thrash craziness as the band plays some of the albums heaviest moments. The vocals can be hard to understand at times but shouldn’t spoil your enjoyment of the song. Behold The Monolith offer an onslaught of brutally played noises towards the end of the song. It’s the quieter psych based vibes that impressed me the most as the band try something different with their sound.

Fifth track – Black Days Of – is a short track that offers a collection of ambient based noises and sounds. It’s quite a gloomy and highly atmospheric little number. Though the band could of easily excluded this song from the album as it doesn’t really offer anything to the overall feel of the album.

Sixth track – Between Oder And The Vistula – is pure thrash metal carnage as the band play a more violent approach compared to the other songs on the album. It has an almost death-metal feel near the beginning of the song, though signs of the albums earlier Psych Sludge/Stoner Metal sounds do make an appearance. Lead vocalist – Jordan – has impressed me through out this album as he’s shown what a great vocalist he is. This is the song where Jordan impresses the most as he has such a dynamic and powerful range.

Finally we arrive to the final battle with Behold The Monolith and what a battle they have in store for us. 14:47 minutes of pure heavy metal fury by the name of Architects Of The Void. Behold The Monolith’s style of Doom, Thrash, Prog Metal, Stoner and Sludge is put to great use as this song is a masterclass in progressive metal modern sounds. The vocals have a slight stripped back feel that perfectly matches the different styles of sounds that the band create here.

Architects Of The Void is perhaps Behold The Monolith’s daring and most challenging album to date. It's a powerful and brilliant record that you simply cannot ignore. This album can be classed as one of the years finest heavy metal albums.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Clawhammer PR for the promo. Architects Of The Void will be released on CD/DD/Vinyl on 29th Sept 2015.