Review Summary: Exceptionally sadistic
It was a huge week for death metal, so it’s understandable if you missed one of the slickest and most aggressive 40 minutes on the table. Monument of Misanthropy play brutal and apocalyptic theme-driven death metal better than the next guy. They’re over the top as expected, but to just
the right level; at least they’re thoughtful enough to slow down for you to take in an occasional thick and crushing riff. Keep in mind the term slow down is relative here: we’re talking 90 miles an hour instead of 120. Much of the guitar shredding will dance past you faster than you can comprehend, but the band are surprisingly good at shifting gears and keeping things unpredictable in a genre that’s known for the complete opposite.
The tracklist of Unterweger
is laid out like some sort of epic Hollywood tragedy. A deeper examination uncovers the very real and sinister inspiration for the album: Austrian serial killer, Jack Unterweger. This creep committed murder in nearly a handful of countries, including the United States, and two of the interludes are merely strangulations of some of his unlucky victims. In addition to their tormented cries, several brief spoken word sections also add a level of intrigue to the experience. Unterweger’s
story feels designed for a metal album, but it rarely detracts from the album’s pummeling sound.
Monument of Misanthropy have a fresh lineup here – armed with two killer new guitarists and the drummer of Putridity - and they seem completely hellbent on pouring every ounce of energy they have into this sinister tale. Every single performance here will jolt you, from the lead vocalist George Misantrope
Wilfinger’s commanding snarl to the hellish, but precise battering of Cédric Malebolgi’s kit. The guitar riffing is also tasteful and intense, with memorable melodies shining through the chugging assault; the swarming intro to “A Man with a Special Qualification” is particularly fire in this regard.
The founding member has struck gold with his menacing new formation, but he also manages to steal the show at times as he flaunts his ridiculous range. On one of the album’s most atmospheric and well-rounded cuts, “The Legacy of a Malignant Narcissist”, you can clearly make out some of his deep growls. Hey, it’s nice to be able to scream along sproradically! Other times he belts out a high-pitched scream that’s impossible to decipher as he mirrors the frantic surge of guitars. “Exceptionally Sadistic” is a fitting example of his less forgiving style, sounding about as intense but technically impressive as something you’d hear from Crytopsy.
Witnessing the rise and fall of the murderous Jack Unterweger through the non-stop but varied assault of Monument of Misanthropy’s approach is a treat. Brutal death metal can be a harder sell than the cavernous oldschool approach, but as the band have proven here without a doubt: it doesn’t have to be.