Tue 14th June 2016
Moloch, Ommadon and Bismuth, three of the darkest and forebodingly dense doom bands of the UK, have always shown a vigour to create at odds with their deathly pace on record. Monoliths are born from this creative urge, members of all three combining in their spare time. Pre-listen, is this going to be a chance to tickle fancies unfulfilled - a grimy crust blast or frozen black metal purge perhaps?
So, is this the cathartic breath of fresh air from the claustrophobic tone-pressure of their day jobs? Of course not. It's more of the same, corrosively long, slow oppression through a darkened wall of doom riff, across two tracks both clocking past sixteen minutes each. Obviously not sated by weekly practices, gigs and records their diaries are presumably already scribbled out with, the individuals within Monoliths must truly have lead a sinner's life to submit themselves to such self-flagalation.
All considered, if you know these bands, you know what to expect here - Monoliths creating drawn out heaviness built around slab thick riffs. Perpetual Motion hammers away, erecting walls to trap you within, a hypnotic state that blurs your vision as your overwhelmed aural senses take precedence. The title of the song is telling, the sense of an automaton engine, repeating, unrelenting, cold and remorseless.
The suitably depressively titled The Omnipresence of Emptiness bellows from even deeper in the well, making Primitive Man appear like Fu Manchu on uppers. To be honest it makes even the first track seem action packed, locked in a plundering trance only occasionally broken by sparse deathly chants, this is true funeral doom blackness.
The A side is ultimately an evolving, compelling beast, of such quality that it will demand repeat listens. The B side almost threatens you not to play it again, like being passed the video in The Ring. From the members involved this had promise, and thankfully from such rich and fertile grounds emerges a monolithic boulder of doom vitality.