Monuments – Gnosis (2012)

monuments-2090813 For a while, it seemed like ‘djent’ was wearing out its welcome rather quickly because so many bands were jumping on the bandwagon and everything that was released sounded very similar. Be that as it may, there have been a few bands known to stand out from the crowd. London, UK’s Monuments is one of few progressive bands that does a little bit extra to make sure that they separate themselves from the pack.

Monuments’ previous release, a three-track EP entitled We Are The Foundation, was released in 2010 and saw the band grab the bull by the horns. They wasted no time in getting their music out there and it made an immediate impact on the progressive metal genre. Now, they are back with some more crushing and groovy music in the form of a full-length album. Gnosis is set to release on August 27th in the UK through Century Media Records. Fans across the pond in America will be able to purchase the album on September 25th.

The first thing that I noticed when listening to Monuments’ new release is that the vocals have improved and they are some of the best in the genre. Usually, I find that the harsh vocals in bands of this nature are weaker than those used by most ‘core’ bands, but that is not the case with Monuments. In addition to spectacular harsh vocals, the vocalist’s cleans are even more impressive. This can be heard especially well on “Doxa” and “Blue Sky Thinking”.

Instrumentally, I was left nearly speechless. Throughout almost the entire 41 minutes, Gnosis is extremely groovy and it manages to sound fresh. The addition of ambient guitar leads and spellbinding solos surely helped to keep this album from sounding repetitive, though. The drumming on Gnosis is also very well done. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it was impressive the entire album.

After gathering a few listens on Gnosis, I have very few complaints. From start to finish, it’s-at the very least-very solid and there are several incredible tracks. “Degenerate”, “Doxa”, and “Regenerate” are a few of the best tracks on the album. “Admit Defeat” and “The Uncollective” are solid tracks, but we’ve already heard them on Monuments’ EP and there are little to no changes in sound. I guess we could consider that as a flaw. Other than that, the only other minor flaw is that a few of the tracks (“97% Static” and “Empty Vessels Make The Most Noise”) drag on just a little bit too long at points.

This 41-minute long album, Gnosis, is a colossal release. It is one of the most impressive ‘djent’ albums that I have ever heard and I guarantee that many other fans will feel the same way. I was expecting a stellar album, but I was not prepared for an album of the year contender.

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By Steven Pongrac ~ Me Gusta Reviews