Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Monolithe : "Epsilon Aurigae"

This started off as a side project  of Sylvain Begot from Anthemon and has since turned into a full fledged band. Joining them on this album is drummer Thibault Faucher and bassist Ollvier Defives. This is yet another band that one was doom and has evolved into more of a dark metal hybrid. The 15 minute opener has more movement than the funereal march of doom, with melody dripping from it's dynamic shadows. Synths coat almost every moment adding to the layers. This doesn't really strike me as being all that oppressive or heavy with the low growled vocals being the most aggressive element. Not that doom is really all that aggressive, but the mournful quality is replaced by an introspective moodiness. These guys are apt musicians and this is not as rock oriented as say Katatonia , but far from funereal doom, even though that influence is still evident.

Like most French metal they  normally carry a very adventurous spirit, this is not as prominent in the  second song which is also fifteen minutes long. The first five minutes does have the more doom metal feel, before the swell out of it for a moment and return to the plodding.  The guitar melody that floats of out the droning lumber of riffage is a nice touch , the final few minutes of this songs finds the band locking into a more interesting syncopation which isn't doom , but works for the song.The third and final songs finds them gaining more motion in the ocean as the pace picks up into a heavier chug. While the song has more dynamic impact than the one which preceded it, it's not until the final three minutes that everything clicks into place with thanks to a very powerful riff.

This album is pretty solid even if the second song stick a little too closely to conventional doom, which is equally odd due to the fact that for the bulk of the album the band defies being tucked neatly away as a doom band. I'll give this a 7.5 as the songs run a little long so find me zoning them into the background , but when they demand my attention it's due to some interesting melodic choices from the guitar, so if you are a fan of doom who wants something that has enough elements you are familiar with without actually being doom then this is worth your time.  The album comes out December 11th.

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