Monuments: Gnosis

Monumental musicianship and serious flaws on London metallers’ debut.

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Monuments first came to prominence supporting such bands as Periphery and TesseracT and their long-awaited debut has been two years in the making. Gnosis is centred around the talent of guitarist John Browne (formerly of the now defunct Fellsilent), and there’s a somewhat amusing irony to the album’s title. Apparently it’s a direction to avoid ‘following the crowd’ and to ‘think for yourself’.

It’s a maxim Monuments haven’t applied to all their music. Indeed, you have to wonder if it was wise to position themselves so closely to such niche market leaders as Sikth, Periphery and TesseracT.

Despite the conspicuous similarities, much of their technical/ groove metal/prog hybrid is still alluring. The shrewdly constructed, contagious melodies are articulately performed and the intricacy of songs such as 97% Static and Regenerate is impressive, but the predictability of Matt Rose’s clean/screaming vocal delivery is just bemusing.

Why would a band with such a towering level of musical and lyrical originality think it’s okay to sound like a thousand other bands in the vocal department. If they don’t try something fresh, they risk becoming also-rans.