This or the Apocalypse
Monuments


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ryan Cleary USER (16 Reviews)
October 5th, 2008 | 55 replies | 13,007 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Excellent metalcore from new kids on the block This or the Apocalypse. Could these guys be the saviors of the next generation of metalcore? Monuments gives a damn good impression that they just might be.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Let me preface this review by saying that I am one of the group that feel that metalcore as a whole has fallen into a monotonous ditch of non-progress over the last couple of years. I have yet to listen to or review a generally awesome album, but am at the present time, reviewing one that is pretty damn close. Here we have, Monuments, the debut album by metalcore young guns This or The Apocalypse. A sort of Norma Jean/All That Remains/August Burns Red fusion, the band plays a deliberate, aggressive form of metalcore, that carries a passionate political statement as well.

Again, my expectations for this one were average at best, so when the ferocity of the opening track, No Horizons, hit me, the very conviction and anger displayed had me hooked. The band is pretty much solid all around, and obviously has the potential to be great, mixing anguished vocals with wailing guitars and laying it all over some heavy drumming.

As far as the musical structure goes, TOTA merges elements of metalcore with some of mathcore, sometimes playing a technical kind of music, other times staying true to their genre. The guitars are all over the place, creating a scene of chaos, while the drums are consistently heavy, with rolling double bass throughout. (The bass, as with most metalcore is inaudible, but I'm sure its great) However, what really sets this band's instrumentation aside is thee exceptional guitar work of lead guitarist Jack Ebenshade. Although capable of playing the usual riffs, he sets himself apart from the rest of the pack by his angelic guitar harmonies that sort of exist in stark contrast to the rest of the music, which comes across as brutal and heavy. A great example of this would be on Monuments, the epic Elegiac, or Architeuthis which seems to be the prime example of the sound this band is trying to create. Jack is capable of just straight shredding as well (see Mauna Kea) The band also makes a venture into prog territory with Memento Mori, which has to be one of the coolest songs I've heard in a while, mixing soft acoustic guitars with a wailing guitar lead and an anguished scream, an example of this band's insane potential.

One much maligned facet of modern metalcore is the extensive use of breakdowns, which as many angry listeners know, sound the same after 3 or four songs. TOTA obviously took extra care to avoid this, making minimal use of breakdowns, and making sure the few used were creative and fresh, mixing with insane guitar leads or group vocals. The music stays fresh almost the entire CD and never leaves you with that ear splitting feeling of repetition found in many metalcore albums nowadays.

Vocally, TOTA does a great job of establishing their own sound by just singing. Vocalist Rick Armenillo does hot have the greatest vocal range, but he makes the best possible use of what he has. Picture early era Cory Brandan, mixed with Phil Labonte, his voice is a perfect balance of anguish and brutality. His lyrics, which I had a hard time coming across, carry a deep political message centering around our country's present troubles, and his voice, at least to me, carries that ideal sense of philosophical urgency.

Bottom Line: An excellent metalcore album from what appears to be a band with insane musical potential, great instrumental talent, a deep vocal message and kick ass album art. No matter how much you love/hate metalcore, I strongly suggest picking this up. The only negative I could find here is that the songs sometimes went on a bit too long for my personal liking.


The Clear Best
Architeuthis
Monuments
Two Wars

On the Bubble
Elegiac
The Polymath
Giest
Mauna Kea



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user ratings (139)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Ryan Williford (3)
This is not their breakout album, but if they keep it up their sophomore effort will be....


Comments:Add a Comment 
cleary21
October 5th 2008



671 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

comments and criticisms are welcome, as always

jrowa001
October 5th 2008



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good review. ill be checking this out

cleary21
October 5th 2008



671 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

its def worth a listen IMO its not like divine but its a step above anything thats come out this year in metalcore

SnackaryBinx
October 5th 2008



2309 Comments


wrong.

Misery Signals- Controller is the best this year.

jrowa001
October 5th 2008



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i dont know about that, the new Century and Misery Signals albums are the best so far. but ill see after i give this a listen

cleary21
October 5th 2008



671 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh, my bad i striaght up forgot about Misery signals didnt hear century though

jrowa001
October 5th 2008



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Century is really good

DBlitz
October 5th 2008



1690 Comments


i listened to their myspace a few months back, they reminded me of August Burns Red, but lots of the songs were samey, average stuff if i remember properly.

beans
October 5th 2008



2332 Comments


good review, ill see how this is at some point

cleary21
October 5th 2008



671 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

see all you people are saying good review but i want some pos's and negs and feedback on what i can change

jrowa001
October 5th 2008



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

im a math major so i dont know how to read or write good

SnackaryBinx
October 5th 2008



2309 Comments


you worry too much about pos's and neg's.

cleary21
October 5th 2008



671 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i know its an ocd

Essence
October 5th 2008



3583 Comments


Well, I can neg you, if that's what you REALLY want.

cleary21
October 5th 2008



671 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i only want it if you can justify it and tell me what is wrong

Essence
October 5th 2008



3583 Comments


OH, you mean there has to be effort involved? Psssh, nevermind.

beans
October 5th 2008



2332 Comments


your review is good, i cant think of anything off the top of my head that you could improve on. Maybe just go into a little more detail about the album sound. But you did a fine job sir.

I listened to one song from these guys and i was not impressed so i dont think i will be listening to the rest of the album

cleary21
October 5th 2008



671 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awwww...tis a damn shame

ToWhatEnd
October 5th 2008



3172 Comments


Yeah I have to check these guys out. Missed them at the ABR show but talked to their guitarist and my friend bummed him a cigarette. Seemed like cool enough dudes.

Essence
October 5th 2008



3583 Comments


I will give these guys a shot later tonight. I am holding your review responsible if they disappoint!



EDIT: D:: So much chug.This Message Edited On 10.05.08



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