Monumentomb – Ritual Exhumation (Self-Released)

Sunday, 25th May 2014
Rating: 7.5/10

The U.K.’s Monumentomb are like a new species of old-school metallers who shuffle around heavy, black, and death metal focuses. If black metal made its way early in the transitional eras between classic rock and heavy metal, prior to the actual wake of black metal, Monumentomb would’ve been there. They’re a conventional metal band with all the essentials that are worth checking out simply because it’s hard to pinpoint only one specific style or designate a particular genre to their music. If anything, they’re the Frankensteins of metal. Just cut and paste, dismember and disfigure, and viola, it’s alive! It’s Monumentomb.

Ritual Exhumation is Monumentomb’s debut release, and with it, they’ve put on a good first impression as a band. This six song layout diverges into several different directions, including a four-minute (average song length) 80’s-ish heavy metal/black metal hunk called “Perpetual Execution Torment,” and then taking another route is a fifty-nine second (not even a full minute) soundscape of foreboding gothic church bells, funeral chants, and swarming phantasms called “Intro.” Inherently, being the first title on the record, it does actually stand as an introduction. Sure, a lot of bands make introduction or conclusion songs much like it, with more or less similarities. Among that particular compositional category, obviously this is one relatively shorter in length, but also finer in quality. As the hauntings escalate with haste towards the end, a bitter spirit is revealed, and it’s near impossible to avoid feeling the presence of it. The intro is a fantastic snippet, and what follows it is even better.

Even when they’re shredding guitar solos or trampling sound-waves with drums, regardless of how heavy the music gets, everything flows smooth enough to where the overall sound has an aural softness, but it’s not at all weak. One thing for sure, Monumentomb make the kind of metal best listened to during night hours, or better yet, on Halloween. Maybe it’s just the album art (a spooky black/white scene of a ritualistic zombie summoning) or the title speaking, but something about Ritual Exhumation says it was made with an intention to reawake the dead.

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