Wednesday, December 5, 2012

... MONOLITHE "Monolithe III" (album review)

The album title suggests that there is a I and a II. It also suggests that they all belong to some superordinated context. And you won’t be misled, if you follow these suggestions.
Monolithe III is the third full length album of the French doomers MONOLITHE and it is the third part of a kind of SF story that tells of the origin and decay of mankind.
An omniscient and omnipresent entity, universe itself, creates mankind to fill its own vacuum with meaning and sentiment. To accomplish this aim the humans try to obtain as much knowledge as possible. Monolithe III deals with their acquirement of the ultimate knowledge, the essence and purpose of human existence, which leads to their extinction, because they have accomplished their task and are now useless.
This is the story that binds the three albums together. Another binding element is the fact that all three of them consist each of just one song. Yes! One song, each around the 50 minute mark.
Monolithe III is, with a length of 52 minutes, a monolith of a song, indeed, but it’s far from being some bulky indigestible chunk, instead it is remarkably listenable. Rooted in the massive sound walls of downtuned guitars the song structure develops many different sets of sounds that effortlessly emerge from and merge into one another. There’s a constant musical movement, be it the abundance of mindblowing melodic riffs, the spacey keyboard sounds floating unobtrusively in the background, the tempo shifts acting like breakaways from the brooding atmosphere into a dramatic tension, or the sparsely used vocals that come in as thundering growls and rather mark special points than are a constant element. Proggish leads and some classical instrumentation give additional turns and twists to the flow of the song.

Monolithe III manages it to send you on a journey through the dark cold endless space. The multilayered structure of the song  gives so many different shades to the darkness that it almost seems colorful  and seizable like a texture There’s the crushing heaviness of the guitar sound wall and the plodding drums as well as the floating weightlessness of the background keyboards and the beautiful melodic riffs seem to weave themselves into it like some threads of light.
I highly recommend Monolithe III to you, it’s an invitation to a space trip you shouldn’t miss out.

words by Ulla Roschat

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