Review Summary: Mauls you like a lion, tramples you like an elephant, submerges you like a hippo and overruns you like a cheetah. It's like the Safari of Pain.
The crux of No Fealty, a hardcore band from the bowels of Copenhagen, Denmark, is that they play raging music. Since this may seem a tad vague, let's clear up a few things; this doesn't mean the type of thud caused by jacking the bass up on the sub-woofers a couple of notches, this doesn't mean the type of crack caused by a jet fighter breaking the sound barrier, this doesn't mean the type of echoing boom-shaka-laka and broo-ha-ha caused by a bomb going off inside a mine shaft. This means an absolutely, positively, excruciatingly brash and brawny thrashing that simultaneously detonates a supernova and then implodes in on itself. This means a crippling concoction of everything that makes hardcore music unforgiving and unleashes it in one B.L.E.V.E. of an apocalyptic lashing. This may mean one's end.
In the Shadow of the Monolith
is an album that will make you feel small...very
small. From the split second it initiates to the very end of its existence, it builds mountainous walls and then crashes them down, on whatever hapless souls may be foolish enough to venture inside. A curb-stomped debris avalanche of oppressively furious and off-toned (and even strangely melodic at times) riffage and manic percussion topped off by incessantly electrified and gravelly vocals roaring political grievances and various other in-satisfactions is often what is heard, or, to be more precise, endured, throughout the duration of this record. Sparingly, a shot of satisfyingly atmospheric meandering is included to "keep up the guess work", but this is short-lived, as is the duration of In the Shadow of the Monolith
, which is almost thankfully kept at a brisk twenty-four minutes. The ears were likely not melded to withstand anymore.
Some shout-outs must be given to bands like Mind Eraser, Ghostlimb, His Hero Is Gone and Torch Runner when listening for influences or partial similarities to No Fealty's sound. However, it would be a disservice to call this cauldron of violence a mimic of any one of these bands (or even all of them together). In the Shadow of the Monolith
is truly a different type of aggression, one that has nearly no container able to contain it, one that demolishes most everything left in it's deity-forsaken path, one that must be experienced to be understood. On that note, check this jagged gem of 2013 out, but be prepared to never return.