Review Summary: This one man minimalistic funeral doom metal project is going to stretch your patience to its thinnest point.
Until Death Overtakes Me present some of the most ritualistic, minimalistic and nihilistic funeral doom metal on this side of the twentieth century. Everything here is drawn out, and if you have the patience to allow yourself to be fully enveloped in this tranquil yet sinister release you will see the sheer beauty found on this long affair. Mixing drone with ambience topped with throaty growls and extra-long drawn out low end riffs Prelude to Monolith
may just in some cases be too much for some listeners to handle. These tracks (that range from two minutes to a whopping twenty one) all display much of the same depressing if not suicidal vibe dragged out to create a mass effect on the listeners’ cerebral core. This Belgian one-piece controlled entirely by Stijn van Cauter plays on the senses of the listener and adapts them without showing any obvious indications of what he may do with the room for thought he has created.
One could be forgiven for not listening to the album entirely. This record was not made to be a bash and dash. Until Death Overtake Me specialise in these drawn out ambient filled passages, blending one line into the next broken only by the odd cymbal splash or deep growl. What’s prominent within tracks, but may go completely unnoticed on a first listen is the static-y buzz that sits right over the top of guitar chords; they blend seamlessly into the music and thicken the albums texture. But, as thick as the tracks can be there is a complete contrast that leaves a solitary echoing piano line in the listeners’ ears – that is before being slammed by a growl or two as each track progresses. Contrary to mass opinion Prelude to Monolith
is intelligent music. There has to be a lot of brain power in tracks over twenty minutes long, otherwise the music itself fades into a boring listen. For all the albums bleakness and ritualistic passages there is a melancholy that gathers around the listeners’ perception. Most music has the power to alter if not shift peoples moods but Until Death Overtakes Me bend moods towards a drawn out despair cementing the minimalistic nature of the album.
When considered as a whole listeners need to recognise that Prelude to Monlith
is just that – a prelude to monolith. Each record that is produced by this one man is a page of a chapter that sits snugly in a book. The record itself is a lead up to another full length titled simply Monolith
and where this record bends, twists and throbs through its five tracks there is another storyline conceptual element gained from knowing this is just the beginning of a number of projects (all of which are roughly in the same vein). Overall, Prelude to Monolith
is an enjoyable record, you just need the patience to be able to sit through it. The album itself is a highlight as long as the listener sits back and enjoys the tumultuous ride through drone, ambience tied together to make a monolithic atmosphere.