Monuments
The Amanuensis


4.0
excellent

Review

by Daniel Davis USER (35 Reviews)
June 27th, 2014 | 128 replies


Release Date: 06/23/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Monuments add a slice of melody to their crushingly groovy sound.

In the beginning, there was silence…well, Fellsilent, to be exact. Before the whole “djent” movement took off in the early ‘10s, there were two UK bands laying the foundations for the genre: SiKth and Fellsilent. While the former has splintered off into several bands spanning multiple genres that have never really reached the popularity of their mother group, Fellsilent’s guitarists took their side projects and made them into bands that are arguably far more successful that the one that spawned them. Acle Kahney borrowed the ambience and melodies of his original band and created TesseracT, one of the most discussed modern prog metal acts today. But John Browne’s Monuments keeps most of Fellsilent’s formulas for crushingly heavy riffs; the difference being that Monuments steps up the game in almost every way. The band has gone through many changes since the bitter departure of original vocalists Neema and Greg, but they’ve always retained their “big dick grooves” and unique riff styles. The Amanuensis is no exception to the formula they’ve been building up for over four years, and Monuments deliver the goods consistently and satisfyingly.

Most of the improvements in the band’s sound come directly from ex-Periphery vocalist Chris Barretto, who lends his signature croons to the downtuned chaos. It creates a much different atmosphere than the angular, percussive vocals used in the past; songs like “Atlas” would usually be populated with mostly screams, but when Barretto works his soulful magic over them it’s transformed into something that transcends what’s expected of the band. In the past, the ambient sections the group is fond of using were more tedious, but when such dynamic vocals sit over it, moments like the subdued verses of “Origin of Escape” become almost as exciting as the more explosive parts. And they do get explosive – the endings of “Origin” and “Quasimodo” might go down as some of the best metal breakdowns of the year, and the rest of the riffs are as bouncy as ever. The pit lords will be pleased with this one.

The production here is also the best it’s ever been – the stringed instruments here are punchy, powerful and clear, and the vocals sound natural and unmolested. The smoothness of the mix balances out the aggressive nature of the music to create something that rests somewhere in between. It’s the stuff that accessibility is made of, and it’s thrilling to listen to. With the addition of Barretto, Monuments have injected more personality into their sound, and given us a reason to fall in love with their grooves all over again.



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user ratings (139)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
paradox1216
June 27th 2014


503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't think I expected the vocals on here to be so...soulful =o

Digging: Yellowcard - Lift a Sail

Drummerboy123
June 27th 2014


2378 Comments


Incredible album and a major step up from Gnosis. Chris Barretto fits perfectly into the mix.

Digging: Devin Townsend Project - Z2

Blump
June 27th 2014


26 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm feelin' this

Digging: Between the Buried and Me - Future Sequence: Live at the Fidelitorium

Calc
June 27th 2014


12252 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

crushingly groovy huh..

Calc
June 27th 2014


12252 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

but for reals what I've heard of this was very good I should djust get the whole thing

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
June 27th 2014


21476 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah this is way better than their debut

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

TooLateToGoBack
June 27th 2014


1775 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

very excited to listen to this

Asmodeuss1990
June 27th 2014


193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Dem big dick grooves. LOL. That made me laugh a good bit. Excellent review broski. Album is
fantastic!!! Chris Barretto is a GREAT addition to the band. I knew they would be fine instrumentally
but I AM SO GLAD he joined. His other band Ever Forthright also rules.

Digging: Revocation - Deathless

fromtheinside
June 28th 2014


18717 Comments


was it wack? i think it was wack who played something from this for me and i dug it enough to DL but have yet to get to it i always think soilwork when i see the art. maybe that has something to do with it

Digging: Devin Townsend Project - Z2

trilogique21
June 28th 2014


424 Comments


does it djent tho

Manqaness24
June 28th 2014


135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I loved the first album lets see how this goes

DatBeefPudding
June 28th 2014


1335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

this album is fantastic. holy shit chris has phenomenal vocals.

my only gripe is that i'm disappointed no sax made it on the record

Drummerboy123
June 28th 2014


2378 Comments


So this concept behind this whole album is pretty darn cool, apocalypse type shiz. I'm down with it.

DatBeefPudding
June 28th 2014


1335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

it's not really apocalypse but rather the entire repeating life cycle of all living things on earth.


i believe the concept of samsara is from hinduism.

paradox1216
June 29th 2014


503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks for the feature, whoever's responsible this time ^_^

DatBeefPudding
June 29th 2014


1335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

nice man congrats.

Nikkolae
June 29th 2014


4862 Comments


the riff is strong with this one

Digging: Cursed Graves - Western Blood

henryChinaski
June 29th 2014


2799 Comments


Never really listened to these guys. I'm just gonna start with this release. Nice review!

Digging: From Indian Lakes - Absent Sounds

Wolfhorde
June 29th 2014


13649 Comments


So is this more generic Meshuggahcore/Djent with weepy vocals?

NonApplicable
June 29th 2014


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The guitarist behind this this album is exceptional! He really finds ways to make the djent guitar tone useful for something other than chugging.



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