Monolithe
Nebula Septem


3.0
good

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (238 Reviews)
January 31st, 2018 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Monolithe are in 7th heaven.

Seven albums… seven tracks… seven minutes each – Monolithe have found a new theme to define their 2018 full-length whilst showing an accessible pathway to a sonic shift in the band’s sound. France based Monolithe have had quite a polarising career. Since debuting a four part series of forward thinking storytelling, filled to the brim with atmosphere and verbose contextual grandeur only to be wrapped up a decade after the debut, Monolithe continue to showcase compositions intended to be considered at an other-worldly level, changing their musical style only when the context demands it. For better or worse this formula has allowed Monolithe to stay with the doom metal magnates and cement their name amongst the best the genre has to offer.

On a first listen, it’s easy to see that Monolithe are content in moving away from the (almost) hour-long dirges found on the band’s initial releases or even the fifteen minute efforts found on the likes of Zeta Reticuli and Epsilon Aurigae, highlighting the change in styles between albums. With Nebula Septem’s tracks clocking in at seven minutes each the listener can be thankful that the full monolithic approach isn’t on show here. Monolithe’s former brand of majestic funeral doom would be incredibly out of place within such a short run time; like a balloon filled with too much air tracks would burst without any hope of restoring the fragments to their original place. As it stands, Nebula Septem has a more traditional doom vibe, relying heavily on its death metal style to carry riffs from one end of the album to the other.

Despite the obvious move away from past sounds there’s no denying that listeners can still enjoy what French-based Monolithe are offering circa 2018. The compositions found here are strong, dense and echo the typical heaviness of a death/doom record but unfortunately meld into each other too easily, with only a few tracks providing their own individual sense of contrast. At times the album pushes merciless forwards, creating an oppressive and foreboding listen, conforming to atmospheric climbs and sinister overtones, Monolithe have always had a knack for creating atmosphere. It seems the main flaws here come from not returning to the sweeping, majestic compositions that launched them to the top of the proverbial doom metal podium.

From the outside looking in, it’s easy to see just how much thought was placed into Nebula Septem’s creation. With the track times and quantities already mentioned we can move onto the Latin translation of “Septem”; Seven and a minor detailing in the track titling that only uses the first seven letters (A through to G) in order . Seven white rings also contrast a black background of the album art showing that these French doom masters put as much effort into the delivery of their 2018 effort as the recorded component. Nebula Septem’s production is tight, clean and clinical allowing every element to contribute to Nebula Septem’s dense, if somewhat brief deathened doom affair. The growls are consistent, varying slightly from track to track, helping define the moods set between rage, sorrow, anxiety and even space-y hope, backed by a consistent instrumental delivery. Unlike the band’s previous records, listener engagement tends to drop off with repeated spins of the album, falling victim to the previously mentioned ‘blending’ of tracks. If you like concise death/doom metal Nebula Septem should tick all the right boxes. For those who want “just that little bit more” from their funeral doom metal records, Nebula Septem unfortunately falls short of blowing away the listener.

Overall there are plenty of strengths found within Monolithe’s latest record; making it an excellent entry point for new fans that aren’t familiar (or patient) enough to sit through grand gestures of fifty-plus minute doom compositions. Nebula Septem however is a weaker album than the band’s Roman Numeral titled works but can be easily found on a par with Zeta Reticuli and Epsilon Aurigae when given to the right atmosphere. Take what you will from this release, for it’s certainly not a bad record. Monolithe will still demand listeners’ attention for years to come.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2018


8601 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Waiting for the mandatory Joe comment...

It's been a slow couple of days, apologies for having two reviews up.

Papa Universe
January 31st 2018


14170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

okeydoke, scratching that from my reviewing schedule..

Digging: Slow Bloom - Hex Hex Hex

Papa Universe
January 31st 2018


14170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nebula POStem

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2018


8601 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

okeydoke, scratching that from my reviewing schedule..





Don't mind me, the more reviews the merrier : ]

Papa Universe
January 31st 2018


14170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nah, i'll get to whatever else people slept on..

Dewinged
January 31st 2018


9420 Comments


Monolithic review Nocte. I am def checking this. Pos!

Digging: Sleep - The Sciences

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2018


8601 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm definitely going on a doom binge this year. Thankfully albums are constantly popping up for me to listen to.

DarkNoctus
January 31st 2018


10311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

man, nothing from this band has interested me since iii, which was stunning. i want this band to make a stunning record but they've been so stuck in a rut since then. i trust this is no different. good review though, i think i will struggle with this album.

Digging: God Is an Astronaut - Epitaph

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2018


8601 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Man that sounds ominous, you’ll have to look into it. I can’t feel that this would be “passable” for you

Dewinged
January 31st 2018


9420 Comments


Nocte did you listen to last year's Bell Witch?

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2018


8601 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, I found it pretty underwhelming: like it was building into something but it never quite got there. Huge potential, just didn’t build on my expectations

Dewinged
January 31st 2018


9420 Comments


I see, I enjoyed it myself, but I am not really a funeral doom conosseur myself. It got pretty big around here though, along with that Spectral Voice album.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2018


8601 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Slow was last years doom highlight for me

Hawks
January 31st 2018


55537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Slow from last year is one of the best doom albums ever made no joke. One of my favs at least.



I dig this album hard though, haven't heard any of the others.

Digging: Violet Cold - Sommermorgen (Pt. I) - Innocence

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2018


8601 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Start from the beginning Hawksie, well worth it

Hawks
January 31st 2018


55537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Will do for sure, prob will just work my way back. m/

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2018


8601 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

As long as you get to the good stuff

Hawks
January 31st 2018


55537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You know I will.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2018


8601 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Figured this would have more than 4 ratings at this point...

Hawks
February 1st 2018


55537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I honestly didn't even know this band until I jammed this haha.



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