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In Mourning - Monolith CD (album) cover

MONOLITH

In Mourning

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.77 | 42 ratings

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Robinanimate
3 stars Disappointing, at least from an extreme-metal-fan's point of view.

The Shrouded Divine has become one of my favorite albums over the last two years. I would go as far as declaring it one of my favorite albums of the last decade. With that album being such a favorite of mine the expectations to their follow up might have been unrealistically high. Nevertheless, the second official release from In Mourning proves to be somewhat of a disappointment. The music is still performed flawlessly. There are good melodies, but something made me lose interest rather quickly. I did, however, spend a long time trying, as I really was rooting for these guys. It is hard to describe in one sentence what makes this inferior to their debut, so I will have to go in detail.

The album opens with For You To Know, and the riffing is pretty good. That is before the awful vocals kick in. Luckily this singing style only appears a couple of times on the album. I can appreciate the screamo, nu-metal style vocals in the right setting. But when everything is as perfectly performed, border lining a neurotics wet fantasies, there are no place for out of key sounding elements. This singing style seems almost identical to that of Leprous as well. But where it fits nicely in with the style of Leprous, it just seems out of place in this setting. The rest of the song is by far one of the best on the album. The melody, variation and riffs are top notch.

The next song is called Debris. Forgetting the yawn of an opening, this song kicks off with one of the albums most interesting riffs (00:58). The starting/stopping and subtle syncopations are similar to the riffing I loved with The Shrouded Divine. Also the following verse is incorporated with the technicality of the riff in an excellent manner. Unfortunately when the pre-chorus riff takes over (around 02:50), the rest of the song becomes very predictable. The riffing is straight forward. I have heard the chorus many times before. And in addition, being that Debris is one of the "calmer" tracks on the album, kicking in a slower pace towards the end makes me lose interest. It would have been a better choice to pick up the pace instead. The remainder of the song seems very similar to the band Godgory. (This goes for many tracks on this album.)

The third track, The Poet and the Painter of Souls, is the most upbeat track on the album. The riffing is rather straight forward though. There are some excellent syncopated parts jumping in at 01:28, but this little spicing of the riffs aren't enough to break up the monotonous feel of this track. Where such riffs were spiced up with unexpected turns and twists on The Shrouded Divine, such tendencies are absent on Monolith.

The Smoke also reminds me very much of Godgory before the singing starts. Then it dwells into more doomy areas. The whole song has a very monotonous feel, compared to most of the tracks on their previous album. It sounds a bit as an old Katatona track, of the album Brave Murder Day. I also get some My Dying Bride vibes.

The opening riff of A Shade Of Plague is also very goth sounding. It would fit nicely in as a Sentenced riff. A more progressive part takes over for a few seconds, but the mid tempo, doomy feel permeates in this song as well. Also similar to Godgory. Riffing is straight forward and monotonous here as well.

With You Came Silence is again dwelling in Katatonia-esque landscapes. Especially the lead guitar is very similar. Also this track makes me loose interest as it develops into more doomy stuff as opposed to picking up the pace, or spicing up the predictability with technical twists and unexpected turns.

Pale Eye Revelation starts op with a thin, and somewhat strange sounding riff, before the verse is introduced. It seems to be picking it up momentarily, before the track looses itself in monotony and predictability. This song also lacks what most songs on Monolith have been missing, which is a touch of original identity.

Ending this album is the track, The Final Solution. It is 12 minutes long and also by far the most doom sounding and slow song on the album. And that would be great if it had been made with some originality to it. Though this song is far from being a Funeral Doom song, In Mourning could have benefitted from listening to Swallow The Sun or Runemagic, if they wanted to make some really slow doom songs with originality and identity to it. The Final Solution sound like something that has been made countless times before.

So there you have it. I guess my objections to Monolith are that it has lost some of the unique identity that I initially found in The Shrouded Divine. The previous album also had some pretty usual death metal songs, but they were consistently spiced up with unexpected elements. Elements that unfortunately are absent on Monolith. Where The Shrouded Divine was borderline tech/extreme metal, Monolith is borderline doom metal. And some of In Mournings initial magic seems lost. Still, I have not given up on this band. I count them as one of the most exciting metal acts to emerge in quite a time, and look forward to their future endeavors. Better luck next time.

Robinanimate | 3/5 |

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