Monsterworks: Universe

London’s progressive metallers navigate the big bang

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A band that piles every style under the sun into one album either knows their shit or is on the path to destruction. Fortunately, Monsterworks are the former, and while Universe isn’t entirely no-holds-barred there is a dizzying array of styles and atmospherics at play to make this an ambitious and erudite piece of work that hinges on a rich patchwork of soulful progressive sounds.

From the mind-warp reverse-effect harmonies of the album’s opening title track, to the maniacal taunt of The Bridge and the album’s lingering hybrid of Swallow The Sun and 3 Inches Of Blood, Universe navigates its myriad influences with grace and subtlety.

After two decades of ploughing metal’s progressive undergrowth, Monsterworks have mastered the art of balancing extremity with soft nuances and mercurial guitars that erupt with Southern-style verve, which is simply enough to exhilarate besides their bold attempt to construct the album’s concept around the entire story of the universe.

Holly Wright

With over 10 years’ experience writing for Metal Hammer and Prog, Holly has reviewed and interviewed a wealth of progressively-inclined noise mongers from around the world. A fearless voyager to the far sides of metal Holly loves nothing more than to check out London’s gig scene, from power to folk and a lot in between. When she’s not rocking out Holly enjoys being a mum to her daughter Violet and working as a high-flying marketer in the Big Smoke.