Monuments
We Are the Foundation


3.5
great

Review

by Butkuiss USER (12 Reviews)
April 22nd, 2011 | 63 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: John Browne and Neema Askari return with a vengeance-and not a moment too soon.

One would have had to have been living under a rock in 2008 to miss the impact that British group Fellsilent had on the metal world with their debut LP, “The Hidden Words”. The Milton-Keynes-native boys’ explosive combination of SikTh-and-Meshuggah-inspired jagged, dissonant riffs, soaring clean melodies, groovy off-time drumming, funky slap bass and a spastic, hyper-aggressive dual vocal attack took the metal world by storm. “Immerse”, the lead single off their debut (and arguably the best song on the release) instantly blazed its way into the memory of many a metalhead with its ultra-catchy riffery and anthemic structure. Suddenly, the explosion of Meshuggah-inspired was reaching critical mass, and could no longer be contained. For better or for worse, like it or not, the movement touted (by many of the band members themselves) as “Djent” had officially arrived.

But unfortunately, the honeymoon was not to last. Soon after the release of their debut, guitarist (and one of the main pioneers of the “Djent” movement) Acle Kahney left Fellsilent for the exponentially-rising star that was his other project, TesseracT. Soon after, vocalist Joe Garrett, drummer Noddy Mansbridge and bassist Max Robinson also left the band, leaving only founding members Neema Askari on vocals and John Browne on guitar to forge ahead as the newly-rechristened Monuments.

Monuments’ debut 2010 EP, “We Are The Foundation”, proves without a doubt that, contrary to what many had assumed, Acle Kahney was not the only reason Fellsilent seemed to show so much potential as rising stars of metal. Far from resting on their laurels with the style they pioneered in Fellsilent, Browne and Askari, along with their newly recompleted line-up, have kept rolling forward. In fact, “We Are The Foundation” shows many marked improvements over Fellsilent’s work.

Browne and co.’s songwriting has improved in leaps and bounds in little over two years, presenting the listener with three ultra catchy tracks delivering unexpected turns and fist-in-air-moments galore. In fact, the songwriting present on “We Are The Foundation” exposes just how samey and recycled the songwriting in Fellsilent’s (albeit amazing) catalogue actually was. Beautifully elegant and majestic clean-guitar melodies are overlayed on top of brutal polyrhythmic riffing, containing an edge that is both melodic and highly aggressive. The vocals follow suit, combining catchy cleans that (surprisingly, for a band of this style) fit the song, perfectly layered over the top of Neema’s possessed, demonically rapid venom spitting. Greg Pope’s voice, though not as similar to Neema’s as former partner-in-crime Joe Garret, maintains a character all of its own, and actually meshes with that of Askari’s better than Garret’s ever did, both in composition and execution. The familiar slap-bass and off-time drumming are also back in full force, and, standing out even more due to improved production values and songwriting, both make their mark immediately on the band.

However, as with seemingly all bands of this genre, Monuments still have a few bugs to iron out. Neema and Greg’s dual vocals, especially their harsh ones, may be a bit rough and gritty for those who prefer their vocals a tad easier to stomach. So too, at little over ten minutes, “We Are the Foundation” is over before it can truly begin. This lack of running time and material is double-edged sword; raising hopes for the quick release of a proper debut while simultaneously raising questions about whether Browne and co. have enough material, or even potential, to deliver what this EP promises.

Whether or not the name of this EP is a stab at the many bands flowing into the genre-and Fellsilent’s apparent obscurity-by Browne and Askari is beside the point. With this release, Monuments show some great potential from a talented group of young musicians. Though not providing enough material to make a sure judgement, Monuments could turn out to be a major player in the metal scene in a few years’ time. This album, along with TesseracT’s latest release, proves that maybe sometimes a band’s splitting up isn’t always as bad as you think. Sometimes, you just end up getting twice the quality material.



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user ratings (80)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
TheRussianGoose (3.5)
A nice little EP from a nice little band....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Butkuiss
April 22nd 2011


4220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Review was written in about the time it took to listen to the EP. Tried writing a shorter and sweeter review this time around, so any comments/corrections are welcome. Maybe the Fellsilent/Tesseract mentions are a bit overboard, but I felt it was warranted, especially considering the incestuous nature of those three bands. And the artwork on this release is pretty dope.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
April 22nd 2011


7095 Comments


Might have to find this. Which track should i listen to first. You have a graceful way of using your adjectives. Nice work on number 7. Pos. As for the other band mentions i don't feel they go over the top.

Butkuiss
April 22nd 2011


4220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

See? That's funny! Cause graceful is an adjective! Geddit?!

Sorry, I have an insanely lame sense of humour. Thanks for the compliment! Definitely listen to Admit Defeat first; they open the album with the strongest track here. It's fairly easy to find around the internet.

I might see if I can fit one more in in the next two or so days; probably a jazz review or something to negate how much metal I've been doing lately.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
April 22nd 2011


7095 Comments


Then ill give you a rec if you want to break the metal chain. Rodrigo Y Gabriela. See what i did there? Metal chain. Lol

Butkuiss
April 22nd 2011


4220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That was so horrible I liked it. Yeah, heard good things about them, might check them soon. So much music, so little time. I've got about 50 albums friends have given me to hear, plus another seventy or so on my list. So in about a year or two I'll be clean.

LurchWorks
April 22nd 2011


90 Comments


a part of me wants to hate you for your rating, but the review is incredibly well written. so stoked for the LP, aoty for sure.

Vooligan
April 22nd 2011


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this band.

Nice review, man.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
April 22nd 2011


7095 Comments


Your list will never be clean not while your on this site lol.

Butkuiss
April 22nd 2011


4220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Lurch-I really loved this EP, but there's not really enough material on here to give it anything higher than a (high) 3.5 for me. The fact that its only ten minutes works severely against it in my opinion. These djent bands can never get their timing right-their releases are either way too overlong, or way too short.

@Vool-thanks dude. Can't wait to see what they put out soon.

And @iPod-I know. I've resigned myself to that long ago.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
April 22nd 2011


7095 Comments


You have a fluent writing style. Where as mine feels more abrupt and jumpy. I must work on that.

Butkuiss
April 22nd 2011


4220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It'll come with practice and patience. Don't worry about it. You'll get there.

I'm really excited for what this band can do. But I'm afraid that, even if they do beat out The Hidden Words as a whole, I doubt they'll ever be able to match the magic that was Immerse. Man, that song is pretty much the perfect djent song. I never get tired of it, ever.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
April 22nd 2011


7095 Comments


Yeah man, i know it will come naturally. Until then ill always try to up my standard.

IAmKickass
April 22nd 2011


840 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I have this, just have yet to listen to it. Good review, pos.

TheArkitecht
April 22nd 2011


1672 Comments


awesome EP, saw them a few months back supporting TesseracT and Periphery and they were incredible, they played plenty of new material aswell which sounded great so there's no fear that they lack creativity.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
April 23rd 2011


7095 Comments


Ok this will get some repeated listens.

Butkuiss
April 23rd 2011


4220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Same here.

Just as a side note, if I ever go batshit crazy and have children, I'm naming one of them Neema, cause it's a fucking badass name.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
April 23rd 2011


7095 Comments


lol, random off topic.
Bout as random as me saying I'm eating a vegemite sandwhich.

Butkuiss
April 23rd 2011


4220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wait, what, you're Aussie? No way. How didn't I pick that up?

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
April 23rd 2011


7095 Comments


Denim and Roo steak all the way mate. I'm about as Aussie as they come. lol

Butkuiss
April 23rd 2011


4220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Don't know how I missed that. I wish more of these bands would tour Aus, but we can't get everything I guess.



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