Monuments (UK)
In Stasis


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mateo Ottie CONTRIBUTOR (32 Reviews)
April 15th, 2022 | 48 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sorry Nik, this is where Andy belongs.

Transatlantic progressive metal band Monuments have finally released their long-awaited new LP, ‘In Stasis’. The record is the quartet’s first album in four years and the full-length debut of frontman Andy Cizek, who joined the band in 2020 following the departure of long-time vocalist and saxophonist Chris Baretto. ‘In Stasis’ is Monuments at their best, delivering some of the most impressive progressive metalcore heard so far this year performed by arguably the band’s strongest lineup to date. The record is the band’s most cohesive overall output to date, seamlessly transitioning between songs with a sense of suspense and excitement as John Browne’s unmistakably iconic riffs open each track.

Cizek makes a huge statement on the record, showcasing the best vocals of his career and an impeccable range of both screams and cleans throughout its runtime that are nothing short of impressive, solidifying his place as the one of the best vocalists in all of modern metal and is my personal favorite vocalist the band has had to date. His presence is instantly felt on the album’s brutal opening cut “No One Will Teach You”, which puts his vocal diversity and control on full display, switching fluidly between filthy gutturals to transcendent high-pitched cleans with incredible ease. The track also stars the band’s former vocalist Neema Askari for a guest feature in its second verse, adding even more to its overwhelming intensity.

Syncopated riffs and endless aggression drive “Collapse” and “Opiate”, two visceral fast-paced tracks that shift consistently in and out of time signatures with some of the best drum performances on the record from Mike Malyan, full of polyrhythms, blast beats, and intense fills. Andy’s vocal prowess shines through immensely on both cuts, with a 20 second scream on the latter and a ferocious flow to complete. The two tracks are absolute flamethrowers and my favorite songs on the album.

The atmosphere-driven “Arch Essence'' has a heavy bass presence and excellent groove laid down by bassist Adam Swan, brought to life with a dissonant breakdown and passionately delivered alongside a solid- but albeit forced-guest appearance from Periphery vocalist Spencer Sotelo just before its climax. Unrelenting bursts of speed bulldoze through “Somnus”, an visceral and jarring track full of intensity and dripping with desperation as its lyrics are haunted with the sting of past regret and crippling anxiety. This lyrical theme is permeated throughout the entirety of ‘In Stasis’, with its larger overarching narrative being driven by the feeling of being stuck in the middle of struggle with one's own self. The band stated about the record’s lyrics,

“We approached this album without the intention of a specific concept. However - three songs in, what was being written ended up sharing a common theme. This feeling of being stuck in the middle, a feeling we experience throughout our lives - within friendships and relationships, love to hate, life to death, belief or non-belief, being in power to total defeat, isolation to freedom. Over the past 2 years, we have been faced with many of these trials, and these struggles can be heard throughout the record. This record is a culmination of our greatest triumphs and our deepest struggles.”

And that is exactly what Monuments have communicated on ‘In Stasis’, encapsulated on the record’s lead single “Makeshift Harmony”, the most melodic and poppiest track on the record, detailing the struggle between the attraction and lust in the aftermath of betrayal. Written after the widespread global protests against police brutality, “Cardinal Red” colloquializes references to the Catholic Church to exemplify the manipulation and perversion of those in charge of society. In contrast, the glorious 8-minute closer “The Cimmerian” uses similar religious parallels as a hopeful plea for salvation from the struggles of life, tying the record together perfectly thematically and further making for a cohesive and satisfying listen.

Despite all of the challenges and seemingly constantly shifting lineup, ‘In Stasis’ is Monuments’ best record to date, excelling at everything the band does best, from bouncy, technical riffage as heard on “Lavos”, to the band’s signature soaring vocal melodies over intricate rhythmic sections and impressive technical prowess. While it’s not a perfect record by any means and could benefit at times from a bit more sonic diversity, it’s an incredibly enjoyable and addictive listen that makes one thing clear in every second of its runtime: Monuments is back and better than ever.



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user ratings (178)
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
GarthAlgar (3.5)
Predictable yet fun djent-infused metalcore held together by impressive vocals and excellent product...

pizzamachine (4)
A monumental achievement....

ValenDreth (2)
If you're looking for tasty djents and math vibes, you will have to look elsewhere....



Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
April 16th 2022


26525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, you win the good review trophy 🏆

WalrusTusk
April 18th 2022


1768 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well written man. I agree with the last line, but hopefully this album helps the band skyrocket into popularity so they can put out another soon.

SteakByrnes
April 18th 2022


29479 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Something tells me that last line is blatantly untrue and this is nowhere near as good as Amanuensis, but gonna jam soon

onionbubs
April 18th 2022


19865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea this aint shit on amanuensis. gnosis is better too

SteakByrnes
April 18th 2022


29479 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Def good so far at least lol

WalrusTusk
April 18th 2022


1768 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gnosis is pretty forgettable. Yeah, this isn't close to Amanuensis.

onionbubs
April 18th 2022


19865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nah gnosis rules. regenerate, empty vessels, degenerate, admit defeat, denial (minus the feature), tons of jams



pretty wack that half of their albums now have spencer sotelo features lol drags down both songs hes on

WalrusTusk
April 18th 2022


1768 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Spencer's feature isn't that great on this one, agreed.

SteakByrnes
April 18th 2022


29479 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Gonna jam it more but on first listen this is only topping Phronesis

onionbubs
April 18th 2022


19865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea this only tops phronesis for me. id give this like a 3.7/3.8 if i had da staff powers but i fuckin loooove cardinal red so i figured i might as well be djenerous and round up

SteakByrnes
April 18th 2022


29479 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

ya cardinal red goes hard for sure. Andy is very impressive on this, which is good because I soured on him a bit after that lame collab with youtube guitarist extraordinaire loser nik nocturnal

onionbubs
April 18th 2022


19865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that riff after the final chorus has been bouncing around in my head nonstop since they dropped it as a single and lowk got me too excited for this lol



and yea andy kills it here particularly his harshes. this is kinda the only thing i know from him outside of a few covers here and there but dude has a ridiculous amount of range. that collab probably sucks tho lmao will forever stay away from anything nik nocturnal (outside of new i the breather who he better not ruin)

Spec
October 13th 2022


39063 Comments


Is this good guys?

ProphetNimd
October 26th 2022


201 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I just don't vibe much with Andy's voice. This band got pretty boring to me even if the album is another riff factory.

WalrusTusk
October 26th 2022


1768 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The riffs on this one just aren't as strong as the previous two. Andy's young and I have no doubt he'll only get better with each release but the middle of this album I don't often return to.

onionbubs
October 26th 2022


19865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cardinal red >>> the rest of this album. the riff after the final chorus is honestly one of my fav riffs browne has ever written but nothing else here could remotely match that energy and bounciness, even if everything here is still pretty solid

Get Low
January 14th 2023


14104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this has grown on me

Purpl3Spartan
January 14th 2023


8168 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ye it’s decent

onionbubs
January 14th 2023


19865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i was pretty stoked for this but its comeback quality j wasnt really there. i dont think i even jammed this once after the month it dropped ngl lol

pizzamachine
January 14th 2023


26525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wut



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