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From Monument to Masses biography
From Monument to Masses is a politically driven Post-rock band from San Francisco, USA. The band was formed in 200 when Matthew Solberg met Francis Choung through an online bulletin for local musicians. They later met with Sergio Robledo-Moderazo which is friend of Steve Aoki, the head of Dim Mark Records in which they have released their three studio albums: From Monument to Masses in 2000, The Imposible Leap in One Hundred Simple Steps in 2003 and Shools of Thought Content in 2005

The band sites as influences: Fugazi, The Mars Volta, DJ Shadow, Rage Against the Machine, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Don Caballero and many more. Although being labeled as a Post-rock band, their sound can be considered a mix from the aggressiveness of old-school Hardcore and Emo, the complexity of Progressive Rock and Math Rock, Dub and Hip-hop influenced bass rhythms and all mixed in a Post-rock package.

Their albums have been critically acclaimed by fans and reviewers and they have appeared in top album lists from many internet publications. Fans of Post-Rock and other bands and genres mentioned will find From Monument to Masses band worth discovering.

Why this artist must be listed in :
Approved by the Post-Rock Team

From Monument to Masses, studio album (2002)
The Impossible Leap in One Hundred Simple Steps, studio album (2003)
School of Thought Contend, studio album (2005)

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FROM MONUMENT TO MASSES Videos (YouTube and more)

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The Impossible Leap in One Hundred Simple StepsThe Impossible Leap in One Hundred Simple Steps
Dim Mak Records 2003
$3.21 (used)
Schools of Thought ContendSchools of Thought Contend
Dim Mak Records 2005
$9.95 (used)
On Little Known FrequenciesOn Little Known Frequencies
Downtown 2009
$3.14 (used)
Beyond God & Elvis [Vinyl]Beyond God & Elvis [Vinyl]
Golden Antenna (Broken Silence) 2008
$123.00 (used)
The Impossible Leap in One Hundred Simple Steps by From Monument to Masses (2003-10-20)The Impossible Leap in One Hundred Simple Steps by From Monument to Masses (2003-10-20)
Dim Mak Records
$27.32 (used)
On Little Known FrequenciesOn Little Known Frequencies
$8.44 (used)

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FROM MONUMENT TO MASSES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.67 | 3 ratings
From Monument To Masses
3.37 | 6 ratings
The Impossible Leap in One Hundred Simple Steps
3.05 | 3 ratings
Schools Of Thought Contend
4.00 | 7 ratings
On Little Known Frequencies

FROM MONUMENT TO MASSES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)


FROM MONUMENT TO MASSES Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FROM MONUMENT TO MASSES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Beyond God & Elvis


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Impossible Leap in One Hundred Simple Steps by FROM MONUMENT TO MASSES album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.37 | 6 ratings

The Impossible Leap in One Hundred Simple Steps
From Monument to Masses Post Rock/Math rock

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars After having loved "On Little Known Frequency" I've found an used copied of this "Impossible Leap". Their personal style shows to be already a band's trademark even with the screamed vocals (not growl, just scream) which almost disapeeared in the two further studio releases to be replaced by speeches. Speech is in any case already present with the strong political contents narrated over a post-rock base with some little hints of Grunge here and there.

Nothing to do with Seattle, their post-rock reminds me, as well as their other albums, to a band that I quite loved in the 80s: the "Felt", at least in the most relaxed and acoustic parts.

"Shapeshooter" is an "unstructured" track, in the sense that it doesn't follow the usual song structure but it's neither a suite or a patchwork of different things as sometimes happens in prog. There's not much "circularity" but the various different pieces are a natural progression. There are no detached moments or fillers or interludes. This is a track which starts in a way and end in a different one.

"From the Mountains to the Prairies" is unstructured as well, but on this track I perceive the "patchwork" effect as the transitions are not very smooth. One remarkable thing is how musically skilled the trio is. Pay attention to the funky-like bass line. The third section of this track, the slow one with a nice guitar harping, releaxed drums and a good bass work fits very well with the speeches and after the words, I still think to "Red Indians" by Felt. The two tracks are very different, it's the mood which is similar. Relistening better, the only rude transition is the first, that makes it effectively more similar in the "unstructure" to the opener.

The short "Quiet Before" could have been joined to the previous track as it fades into this one. The eight guitar chords on which it's based are hypnotic, while the bass changes them into different chords (minors, sevenths and so on) and the drums overcome in the final part leading it to the end fading into "Spice Must Flow". A bluesy track in major chords on which the speech fits very well. The lazy rhythm is transformed by the odd signature brought in by the bass and later by the drum accents. It becomes darker in the second half when even some growl, or better, hard scream appears. Then a repetitive guitar riff is brought into chaos by a drum crescendo. I think it's the best album's track (but it's mainly because I like dark things).

"Comrades And Friends" is driven by a repetitive guitar sequence and a lazy rhythm. A very relaxing song.

On "Old Robes" we can see all the power of a trio. The guitar playing a repetitive part which acts both as main theme and rhythmic base, but without subtracting anything from the bass and drums duties. As in the other tracks the speeches fit very well with the slow parts, like the music is put a little in the background to give room and relevance to the speech, then when it's finished a more intense and rhythmated part arrives. In particular, the way guitar is played in this section makes me think to early Wishbone Ash. There's a similar playing on Pilgrimage even though I don't remember exactly on which track (or may it be on Argus?). There's more circularity on this track to demonstrate that when FMTM want to make something structured, they are able to. It has impressed me the fact that when the keyboard enters the bass is not playing. It means that there's no overdubbing and everything is "really" played. It also mean that the band can perform on live with the same quality of the studio versions without the need of additional players on stage.

There's no transition from that to the closer "To Z". On this track there's a bit of electronic drums, in the beginning, while the bass has I think a bit of chorus. This is the track on which more room is given to bass, however the ensemble works very well and all the things are well integrated.So it's not a trio like Emerson Lake and Power, which sometimes was a keyboard player and two guest (even if great) musicians.

As Overall, this album is as good as their last and the rating I give to it is the same as that.

 Schools Of Thought Contend by FROM MONUMENT TO MASSES album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.05 | 3 ratings

Schools Of Thought Contend
From Monument to Masses Post Rock/Math rock

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

3 stars "Sound which comes from silence is music". This sentence introduces the instrumental part of the first track "Deafening". A relaxing track based on major chords like this is quite unusual for this trio. A very peacuful song, even when the drums come to evidence or later when the guitar makes it more rock.

Unfortunately a number of remixes arrives immediately after. Starting from the second track they sound like a less hard version of Linkin Park. I don't like loops and remixes when they are too exhagerated. What I liked of their last album (the first I've listened to) is not much present here. After repetitive listens all the tracks are nice but the melodic parts are very similar one to each other. They are more effective when they give up to chill out athmospheres and become a bit darker. On this album it happens here and there, but it's like they are using the same base on all the songs.

However it's an enjoyable album. Not too experimental. Easy enough to be enjoyed while driving or working. Better before sleeping.

It doesn't have the explicit political contents of the following album. It's almost instrumental. A good chill-out electronic disc. I've never been to a rave (and I'm not thinking to go), but I suspect that the chill-out music the ravers listen to the morning after is of this kind.

Good to relax then, but nothing more. rounded up to three stars for who loves this genre.

 On Little Known Frequencies by FROM MONUMENT TO MASSES album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.00 | 7 ratings

On Little Known Frequencies
From Monument to Masses Post Rock/Math rock

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars Give a label to a band like this is not easy. First of all it's a trio, and we all know how skilled a musician has to be to play in a trio. Not a trio like ELP where there's one leading instrument and two sparring partners. This is a real ensemble, and the final product is amazing.

Checksum, the first track, can remind to some new wave of the 80s (I mean the Felt) with a bit of psychedelia, until the choir comes. Hard to classify, but good music with no doubts. After the choir the tempo changes to (i think) 5/4 and fades out to the second track

Individual Factories begins with a 4/4 disco rhythm that gives room to some guitar chords with a grunge/punk taste and comes back to the base rhythm, then it changes drastically. There are echoes of garage bands like Green Jelly but when it becomes slower, it's pure progressive that may be liked also by Genesis fans it ges instrumental until the end

Beyond Good and Elvis is more melodic. Variations in the tempo compense the stability of the pitch. It seems a track designed for the drums on which Choung can show all his ability, then a clean guitar in wishbone ash style (pilgrimage as reference) introduces the epic final.

A Sixth Trupmet starts slowly with the guitar, bass and cymbals then a cello (or a keyboard, who knows?) appears for a while. After two minutes a crescendo introduces the drums, but the essence of the track doesn't change. It's a relaxing track. Reference Felt: The splendour of Fear

An Ounce of Prevention is totally different. A marching drum and three guitar notes. Everything but melodic, now. The tension grows until the bass adds some funky. However the guitar and its harmonics don't let the bass follow the funky rhythms too long. This is a very complex track. Very interesting, but some changes from one theme to the following have discontinuities like those that are quite common in Mike Oldfield's suites. In the middle of the track a voice cries something that I can't understand, then the music restart. When the discontinuity is intentional it doesn't disturb. This is a dark long track, even if the last minutes are back to melody, with the drums making reggae-like accents (don't misundertand, there's no reggae at all here. Only accents).

The first five is short and repetitive, with scratching, dubbing and mixing. Chill-out mainly, but it's just 3 minutes.

Let them know It's christmastime is one of the best album's tracks. A sequence of 3 chords is alternated to parts with speaking voice, bass and drums. After about 4 minutes it slows and a cello/keyboard leads over a guitar loop. Voices are back and we are in the second part of the track. Very different from the first, with drums leading and a spanish speaking voice (Fidel Castro?) speaks about survival of human race and American imperialism. For a while, then guitar and bass are back, the rhythm increases and the track goes to the end

Hammer and Nails starts slow and is a bit boring for the first 4 minutes, but when the drums start pumping and the guitar uses a middle-east scale, it's another story! at the end this is probably the best track of the whole album. At least it varies a lot.

3.5 stars really. I rate it 4 because it's the first review of this album and 3 is too few. If you are not into the pst rock this is non-essential, but if you look for a taste of the genre this is a good start point.

 The Impossible Leap in One Hundred Simple Steps by FROM MONUMENT TO MASSES album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.37 | 6 ratings

The Impossible Leap in One Hundred Simple Steps
From Monument to Masses Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

3 stars FMTM plays very powerful kind of Post-Rock, usually mid-tempo, well-structured, with obvious Math-Rock hints and political background, which is expressed in samples from TV and radio programs. This is what speaks against the band, IMHO, because unlike in GY!BE/ASMZ case here these ideas don't create a harmony with music but only ruin some atmosphere already created by this music itself. But for me, as a non-English speaker, it's pretty easy to turn my English knowledge off to fully enjoy the music side of the record. FMTM are a trio, and their sound and manner are pretty much like another trio have - I mean RUSSIAN CIRCLES whom I happened to experience before FMTM. The same way heavy, almost bordering Metal, groovy and memoralbe, with some catchy tunes and tracks ranging from 5 to 8 minutes, The Impossible Leap... is not just another good guitar-driven Post-Rock record...but in the same time not a cornerstone for the genre. Below average (even despite these sometimes annoying samples) and definitely worthy. 3.5 stars. RECOMMENDED!!!
 The Impossible Leap in One Hundred Simple Steps by FROM MONUMENT TO MASSES album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.37 | 6 ratings

The Impossible Leap in One Hundred Simple Steps
From Monument to Masses Post Rock/Math rock

Review by chamberry
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars You said you wanted more rock and you got it.

From Monument To Masses is a band that mixes some interesting influences (politically and musically) into their sound. In the end they come up sounding like a more rock oriented post-rock band or maybe even a prog oriented post-rock band. This is one of the rare cases when bands from the genre leave the simplicity behind and really experiment with time signatures and truly rock out.

These guys take their political ideas front and center and aren't afraid to show them just like Godspeed or A Silver Mt. Zion. To be honest those two bands do it in a way that I doesn't sound forced or tiring, but sadly From Monument To Masses aren't like that and in many times it can get frustrating when one isn't in the right frame of mind or mood. Aside from the political side of the band the other side, the musical one, is great and fun to listen to. They are complex without being hard to listen to and they can get pretty groovy at times thanks to their Dub and Hip-hop influenced bass lines. Their strong sense of melody coming from their post-rock side is also a mayor factor in their accessibility. Their aggressiveness is also shown In "The Spice Must Flow" and "Old Robes" with their hardcore influences and screaming vocals. I must note out that these are just short parts of the songs and they're mostly an instrumental act. All three player are well trained at their respective instrument, but they do work as a team and they never show off. The sound is tight and well played. The songs in general are mostly long around the 6-7 minute length. There aren't any climaxes here, though so don't wait for them, but there aren't any ambient parts either. Their like a standard rock band (whatever that means) with one foot in post-rock and another in prog and their fingers in several other genres and bands.

From Monument to Masses play a fun and enjoyable batch of complex and groovy "post-rock". If you don't mind listening to politically obsessed music and sound clips in middle of songs then you won't have a problem enjoying From Monument To Masses. Their interesting sound will appeal to many people if they get a chance to give them a try.

3.7 or almost 4 stars.

Thanks to chamberry for the artist addition.

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