In Mourning
Monolith


3.5
great

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
February 12th, 2010 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Seemingly a bad follow-up turns into another great progressive melodic death metal album as long as you let it grow on you. It is still a fair bit weaker than Shrouded Divine though.

When In Mourning finally released Shrouded Divine in 2008, they were instantly launched into critical acclaim. The long-awaited debut album did not disappoint and it was not hard to see, why phrases such as "descendants of Opeth" and "best new melodeath band in years" flew around. Shrouded Divine was, what one would call, a collection of eight wonderful, progressive melodic death metal tracks. It didn't have any boring parts, it was so well crafted, especially for a debut LP, and had those sweet acoustic passages that the infamous Opeth also use so well. All in all, in melodic death metal, 2008 was the year of In Mourning. So when news about a new album reached the ears of legions of fans, expectations rose to boiling point - no more was anyone waiting for a great album; everyone wanted at least a semi-classic one.

Monolith is a good album, but it is far from classic, very far from it. What drags this album down is its lack of initial appeal. It took me at least five, if not about seven, spins to start appreciating it for what it is. Too many people were looking forward to a superb record - a record that would blow them away and keep them in its firm grasp for a good while. But no, that is not what Monolith succeeds in. Instead, Monolith is a good sophomore effort, mainly keeping to the path In Mourning set themselves on with Shrouded Divine, only this time around, there's more of a metalcore influence. It's especially notable in the vocal department, because in contrast to his deep growl and beautiful cleans, Tobias Netzell now also uses a metalcore-esque shout, most notably present in the songs "For You To Know" and "A Shade Of Plague". Also, chugging sections are more present than they were on Shrouded Divine. That, in its core, is not a bad thing, because In Mourning implement them with ease and make them sound rather refreshing in the overall context, but it yet again shows that In Mourning may be trying to step onto a more commercial path, as adding metalcore elements to a melodic death metal sound seems to be the thing in the present (European) mainstream metal scene.

Like I already briefly mentioned earlier, Monolith desperately lacks a 'punch' effect. The only songs that have said punch are the two openers, "For You To Know" and "Debris", the latter also being the album's best song, hands down. Other songs, at least in my case, needed quite a bit of time to grow. Listening to the album through headphones definitely helps, because through a blaring stereo system, you might not catch all the nuances. In the end though, even when you've given it time to grow, and while the 'punch' factor does dilate, Monolith is still weaker compared to Shrouded Divine.

Overall sound of Monolith is still your typical (aka excellent) In Mourning though. While the importance of acoustic passages has been degraded, and the music has a slight metalcore vibe to it at times, it's still great, sound, progressive melodic death metal. The only song that doesn't cut it even after multiple plays is the supposed-to-be-epic closer "The Final Solution (Entering The Black Lodge)". It's a decent song at best and it really drags during its twelve and a half minute run-time. It has an excruciatingly slow tempo, and the synths used in this song just sound like complete and utter crap. It's evident the band did their best to craft their most epic song yet, but the only thing the song has going for it, is an occasional pretty riff.

Monolith is in no way a bad album if you're even remotely a fan of this kind of music, but it isn't the classic so many had hoped for, and it's also a fair share weaker than it's predecessor, the glorious Shrouded Divine. The skill is still there though, and I can most definitely see a very bright future for these guys. With that said, Monolith is a great album, but sometimes, even great isn't enough to please everyone.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
jingledeath
February 12th 2010


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

album is full of poo stains har har but yeah review is great mang

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 12th 2010


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

take it like this. this album is like a trip to the showers: Of course you are all covered in dirt and crap at start, but when you've cleaned yourself up later (like this album does after multiple listens), only the memory of the fact you were covered in s*** remains.

Burn2Burn
February 12th 2010


2378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like this quite a bit more than Shrouded Divine now.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 12th 2010


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

o really? care to explain why/what makes this better?

Burn2Burn
February 12th 2010


2378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is catchier and I can listen to it all the way through without wanting to skip a song. I still like SD, but this album sounds more mature. My only complaint is the lack of clean vox opposed to the debut.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 12th 2010


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can listen to it all the way through without wanting to skip a song
haha, I've got that thing going with SD. This is good too, but it surely has its standouts and low points. Thanks for sharing your views though

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 12th 2010


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Very nice review, but this album is boring. I can definitely see this dropping to a 2.5 at some point.

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

fromtheinside
February 12th 2010


18363 Comments


its really grown on me, but every second of a shade of plague and with you came silence are boring to me so i might drop the rating.
great review.

Digging: Gehenna - Seen Through the Veils of Darkness

Romulus
February 12th 2010


8437 Comments


I think I'm gonna check this out tonight or so. Very nice review.

YouAreMySilence
February 12th 2010


3727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah I really really like this

SCREAM!
February 12th 2010


10142 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Review is good...album isn't

pizzamachine
February 12th 2010


12571 Comments


Sexy.

combustion07
February 13th 2010


5362 Comments


I loved their last album I'll have to check this out, I didn't even know they were recording yet lol guess I'm a little out of the loop

qwe3
February 13th 2010


21362 Comments


nice review styles. i gave this a listen and don't even remember how it sounded. that's prob a bad thing

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2010


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks for the comments guys; this album is well worth checking out, but only if you give it time to grow. Will probably not appeal on first few listens.

Nagrarok
February 13th 2010


8256 Comments


This sounds nice, been some time I actually listened to something you reviewed, but although I want to check this out, my laptop is still busted. Remind me later. Pos'd also.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2010


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah since you liked Be'lakor from last year, this should also definitely be of interest to you. And thanks man.

SylentEcho
March 12th 2014


1570 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is average, but Pale Eye Revelation is my favourite from here.

fromtheinside
April 13th 2014


18363 Comments


i really fuckin dig this band

ChoccyPhilly
May 24th 2014


6597 Comments


First 2 minutes of the first song led me to believe this was going to be a Deathcore album

Digging: /F - sj JJ*F : Pq?~?; ??????/?a?/?a/ J#?(?. .



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