Sunday 19 May 2013

Monolithian - One/Zero 12"

There seems to have been a big proliferation of duo's in metal recently, especially in the UK doom/sludge/black metal scenes. Falmouth's Monolithian are one such band, though not entirely new, they are starting to make waves and get the earth rumbling around their feet. They're about two release a 12" record with the help of five mighty labels - Church of Fuck, Moshtache Records, Bitter North Record, Atomsmasher Records and Riotous Outburst Records. One/Zero collects their first two EP's. The A side features the four tracks from the sold out One EP (including a Bongzilla cover no less) and side B features the Zero EP.


1. Yog Sothoth
2.The Dry
3. Cruithne
4. 666 lbs (Bongzilla Cover)
5. Baptism
6. Under The Obelisk
7. Azothoth
8. The Anointed One

I've always been into the slower more bass-heavy strand of heavy music and Monolithian seem to satisfy that thirst pretty well. The absence of lead guitar may be hard for some people to get used to, but once you realise that the melody, no matter how low, is coming from the bass, all becomes clear. The low, growling black metal vocals add a menacing edge to opener Yog Sothoth. As well as performing slow, winding rituals, Monolithian can also thrash like nobody's business. Just check out The Dry. It's powerful drumming dictates the pace and it's a polar opposite to the doom tag that Monolithian carries with them. In between songs they use samples to break the silence.

There's only one word for the bass riff at the start of Cruithne - immense! It propels you into a new six and a half minute leviathan. The noise level just seems to keep rising too and when you think the song is coming to a conclusion, it kicks back into gear again with another mighty bass rumble. The final song on the A side is the Bongzilla cover, 666lbs. I don't really need to say anything here because well, it's just huge! The cool thing about it is that Monolithian really stamp their own mark on the song and don't worry about the fact that they don't emulate the lead guitar from the original version.

Side B starts with a kick in the balls by the name of Baptism. There's more fast drumming at the start of the song and some great underlying melody as well. It has a different feel to it from the rawness of the One EP on side A, but it's no less bruising. The bass tone in Under The Obelisk sounds lower somehow, I'm not sure why though. Maybe I just want it to be!  One thing's for sure though, listening to this at high volume certainly shakes your bowels. I have my speakers perched on top of a chest of draws, which I thought were quite steady. I'm not so sure now.

After the lengthy build up, the song hits its stride. It saunters through seven minutes of mesmerising bass riffs, grooving drums; deathly/blackened growls and Monolithian even manage to throw in some Bong-esque clean vocals. It's probably my standout track on the record. If you sit back and listen to the musical textures that Monolithian weaves, you'll be transported to another place entirely. Just listen to the unnerving noise created on Azothoth, along with the sample of children talking. It'll move you! 

One/Zero is bought to an end by one last rumbling hymn, in the form of The Anointed One. It's the sound of your world crumbling in around you. It's the last breath as you're committed to the earth. It's the musical form of you losing your mind slowly and torturously. To pigeonhole Monolithian would be missing the point (though it seems like I've tried to with this review). Their heaviness and their originality breathes new, deformed life into the heavy underworld which we populate.

The entire record is available for streaming below (via Church of Fuck's bandcamp page):-

Physical copies can still be pre-ordered and the vinyl will be dropping soon. Head to following places to pick up your copy -

Church of Fuck -
Moshtache Records -
Bitter North Records -
Atomsmasher Records -
Riotous Outburst Records -

Also, head over to Monolithian's Facebook for news and gig announcements -

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