Monolithe – Monolithe IV (Debur Morti Productions)Wednesday, 9th October 2013
A year passes and we find ourselves with a surprisingly quick turnaround from Monolithe, releasing IV barely a year after III. Much like III, IV is a ‘monolithic’ single piece of continuous funeral doom that supposedly details an ongoing concept detailing the origin of humanity as tied to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Oddysey. High-reaching concepts aside, much like III last year, the album is a serviceable indulgence of funeral doom, albeit one that requires greater patience than most given its setup.
As it’s all one continuous 57 minute piece, to approach it in the same manner would ordinary albums is unfeasible to the max, though similar responses are applicable. There are peaks and valleys spread throughout, though it does remain at a particular pace for most of its duration (somewhere between slow and really slow). The biggest thematic break arrives around the two-thirds mark when the metal instrumentation falls away to what can only be described as a ritualistic march to a crowning or a ceremonial heart removal. It could be either.
Pace woes aside, increasingly dense layers are added on as the song crawls toward its end, mostly in the form of increased synths and choral voices (or likely, synth-based choral voices) but all the same it adds a fantastic sense of haunting to everything that’s going on. Funeral doom is rarely an accessible genre so most who are likely to come across IV (or be familiar with Monolithe) shouldn’t find what’s here surprising. It is what it is and what it is isn’t bad.
It won’t change the world, but what can post-Pallbearer?