Monotheist
Scourge


4.0
excellent

Review

by MetalSoliloquy USER (6 Reviews)
March 23rd, 2018 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Balancing old-school riffery and modern elements, Monotheist's debut album is progressive death metal at its finest.

Formed in 2004, Monotheist is a progressive extreme metal band from Orlando, Florida, comprised of vocalist JJ “Shiv” Polachek, Michael “Prophet” Moore on guitar and saxophone, Tyler McDaniel on guitar, bassist Jose Figueroa and drummer Cooper Bates. They play an eclectic mix of brutal technical death metal with progressive influences. Having been around for fourteen years now, they are no newcomers. However, Scourge is only their debut album. Having released only one EP and one demo album before, it was about time they step up their game and come out with a full length record.

Scourge definitely is no album for the faint of heart. Instead of tenderly introducing the listener to the album with an instrumental opener, an acoustic intro, or something similar, Monotheist open this record with a brutal technical death metal track thet sets things straight from the get-go. These guys don’t beat around the bush. “The Grey King” is a fantastic opener for the album that showcases the band’s musical talent and songwriting skill, as well as their relentless brutality, and also contains one of the multiple guest performances this album has to offer in the form of some blistering growls by ex-Scar Symmetry singer Christian Älvestam.

With an opener this strong, the band sets the bar quite high for themselves, but luckily I can say that the rest of Scourge lives up to that. Monotheist find the perfect balance between oldschool riffery reminiscent of their musical predecessors (e.g. Suffocation, Death, Immolation) and a modern and experimental take on the genre that you might find with bands such as Origin or Archspire, while being more than just the sum of these influences. The album contains 62 minutes of into-your-face technical death metal, varnished with a variety of progressive and experimental elements, such as saxophone and flute segments, symphonic interludes (i. e. “Mark of the Beast I: The Image”) and a versatile spectrum of vocals, including deathcore-ish squeals, oldschool growls and grunts, as well as an occasional usage of cleans.

Bands who include such a vast amount of different musical elements into their sound always are in danger to end up with an overloaded or ill-conceived sounding record, but luckily, with Monotheist this isn’t the case thanks to their focused and intelligent songwriting. Every element makes sense in the context of both the respective track it appears on and the album as a whole. Two of the best examples of the band’s great songwriting are the ten minute instrumental piece “Infinite Wisdom” that, despite of its length and lack of vocals, is one of the most interesting tracks on the album, and the following track “Desolate, It Mourns Before Me” that with its multiple breaks and solos might look like a mess on paper, but turns out to be very cohesive and compact, thanks to brilliant transitions. Then again, each and every one of the eight tracks on this record would serve as a great example of the band’s songwriting skills because each and every song is fantastically composed.

If I had to find something negative to say about Scourge, it would probably be that the band’s overall sound doesn’t differ a whole lot from other contemporary technical/progressive death metal acts. But that is only a minor complaint, given how good the music is. As for the technical side of things, I have literally no complaints at all. Every instrument is played with precision and skillfulness. And while I found the drumming and bass work to be particularily outstanding here, it doesn’t really make any sense to try and choose one of the performances as the best, given how professional every instrument is played.

In conclusion, Scourge is a more than solid debut album that shows the band paying respect to their musical heritage while simultaneously creating a style of their own. Great songwriting and interesting stylistic elements make this album a coherent, entertaining and impressive listening experience.

Originally published at www.indymetalvault.com



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Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 23rd 2018


8880 Comments


Every instrument is played wiht precision


Little typo dude

MetalSoliloquy
March 23rd 2018


13 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks. Fixed.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 23rd 2018


8880 Comments


All good. I like your to the point review style. Pos'd. Can I ask (if you don't mind) how long have you been reviewing for?

edit: A couple more pointers; When mentioning album names, try using bb code to tidy up your review. For example:

I really like Album because of it's well-timed hooks and bombastic riffing.

is

I really like [ i]Album[/ i] because of it's well-timed hooks and bombastic riffing.

without the spacing between [ i] etc

The "i" is for italics which helps differentiate between media and song title which we save the quotation mark for. Throughout your review you actually miss using quotation marks on your album titles (some, not all). This just helps make everything consistent down the page and tidies your review.

MetalSoliloquy
March 23rd 2018


13 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been writing shorter reviews for a little over a year now on Instagram. I'm pretty new to writing long-format reviews, though.

MetalSoliloquy
March 23rd 2018


13 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the advice!

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 23rd 2018


8880 Comments


I'm pretty new to writing long-format reviews, though.


In that case, welcome to the Sputnik review formats : ] if you need anything feel free to shout out.

parksungjoon
March 23rd 2018


8320 Comments


are reviews on instagram a thing?

pos btw this sound up my alley

bloc
March 23rd 2018


52352 Comments


Looking forward to hearing this one

Digging: Edan - Beauty and the Beat

Oceandrowned
March 23rd 2018


816 Comments


Listening to death metal for the christians is a worse thing than being the deafheaven fan.

parksungjoon
March 23rd 2018


8320 Comments


have you heard mortification?

bloc
March 23rd 2018


52352 Comments


Yeah, their first 3 are awesome

parksungjoon
March 23rd 2018


8320 Comments


i was asking oceandrowned but thats gr8 m8

BlackDragon
March 23rd 2018


7 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Oceandrowned



goo.gl/eGQqko

jesterhead92
March 24th 2018


5340 Comments


I dunno why their demo isn’t considered a full-length since it got a remastered reissue and is like an hour long. It’s pretty fantastic too. Haven’t heard this all the way through but what I have heard sounds rad

ramon.
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2018


2552 Comments


sweet review bro < 3

Hawks
March 24th 2018


60926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fuck yes so happy someone reviewed this. One of the best albums so far this year. m/

Digging: Four Fists - 6666

MetalSoliloquy
March 24th 2018


13 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys.

HarryBoBerry
March 26th 2018


600 Comments


Wow this is really good. March has been an amazing month for metal.

bloc
March 27th 2018


52352 Comments


Not really digging this that much...

I'll come back to it in a few months and try again.

edit: Actually the longer tracks kick ass

DatBeefPudding
April 2nd 2018


1906 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this rules, shiv can do no wrong. he's such an amazing vocalist it's unreal.



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