Funeral doom has a reputation for being stylistically restrictive, but those invested in this physically and mentally draining subgenre know that while it’s well-defined sonically, the best bands of this ilk have grand visions to expand its limitations.
France’s Monolithe are one such act, and on Zeta Reticuli, their increasingly progressive approach – Skepticism’s keyboard-driven solar crush combined with quasi-industrial post-metal – is once again apparent following last year’s equally immersive Epsilon Aurigae release.
Three distinctive tracks spanning 15 minutes each make for another succinct display of this longstanding act’s innate ability to draw down thunderclouds while the sun shines. With the recent introduction of four new members, Zeta Reticuli and Epsilon Aurigae are to be taken as the genesis of a new era for Monolithe. And when both intertwined albums are played in quick succession, you get an even greater understanding of the compositional profundity this Parisian collective now control, as expressive solos and complementary guitar interplay strike the difficult-to-master balance between sky-bound melody and crushing metallic weight.