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Monolith - Amebix

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Genre: Hard Rock & Metal - Heavy Metal / Artist: Amebix / Import / Audio CD released 2001-06-12 at Heavy Metal UK

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      13.01.2008 18:18
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      Amebix's second album (1987).

      'Monolith' is a pretty cool album of classic punk-metal, bridging the gap between the metal genres of the eighties and early nineties in a very dark and interesting way. The sound is rooted in the dark side of NWOBHM (the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, as it is still oddly referred today), drawing on the likes of Motörhead, Saxon and early Iron Maiden and fortunately proceeding along the wicked path to a style that would ultimately be labelled death metal with a lot more intensity and credibility than the often laughable Venom. The punk influence isn't anywhere near as prominent as on their previous album.

      Death metal was in its earliest form in the late eighties, expanding on the extreme edge of thrash bands such as Slayer, and Amebix share a few similarities with the style in the rasping vocals of the Baron Rockin Von Aphid (perhaps not his real name) (in fact, his real name is Rob Miller), as well as the tuning down of instruments and the overall sinister depressive atmosphere, not to mention the fantastic horror artwork and silly band font, but this is a far cry from Death's 'Scream Bloody Gore.' From the incredibly atmospheric doom metal opening to the speedy thrashing of the first song and the gloomy, melodic elegy of 'Last Will and Testament,' this is an album that encapsulates most of what was great about the evil side of eighties metal, right down to the tomb-like production values.

      All the instruments are used to their full potential here, as the band favours mood over speed. Stig da Pig's guitar is excellent (real name Chris Miller), perhaps a little understated for listeners spoiled by modern production values but really fitting this album perfectly and still surprisingly damned heavy, the same going for Arachno Blaster's drums (real name Spider, again perhaps not his real name) that avoid the boring full-pelt blast beats and relentless bass pedal hammering of much modern metal. The Baron's vocals range from a proto-death grunt to a raspy singing style similar to Chris Boltendahl of Grave Digger, and even the bass (also handled by Baron Miller) receives significant attention when the guitar takes on a more melodic, faux-acoustic tone in 'Last Will and Testament' and the introduction to 'Fallen from Grace,' clunking eerily along as if it's crawling over your very grave, or something like that.

      For all of its tendencies towards the depraved side of metal, this album still owes a large debt to the NWOBHM (mention location internationally), borrowing its atmospheric take on melodic songs rather than opting for the more disastrous and cringe-inducing power ballads being churned out by American mainstream rock groups at the time, and even the finale 'Coming Home' sounds like something Saxon would have done in their more energetic days at the start of the decade. Amebix is a band that's easily overlooked or easily loathed through their gritty blending of genres, though often cited as an influence on industrial types like Godflesh. This album is an excellent, elegiac epilogue to the decade's eviler edge.

      1. Monolith
      2. Nobody's Driving
      3. The Power Remains
      4. Time Bomb
      5. Last Will and Testament
      6. ICBM
      7. Chain Reaction
      8. Fallen from Grace
      9. Coming Home

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  • Product Details

    Disc #1 Tracklisting
    1 Monolith
    2 Nobody's Driving
    3 Power Remains
    4 Time Bomb
    5 Last Will and Testament
    6 I.C.B.M
    7 Chain Reaction
    8 Fallen from Grace
    9 Coming Home