Album Year: 2013
Genre: Hardcore / Groove Metal
Quite simply, Monolith have succeeded in forcing the listener to pay attention with their opener/title track “A Votive Offering”, the sample to kick things off has the same eery effect as Thy Art Is Murder’s “Unholy Sermons” and sets up for a big drop which shines brightly, however, after 40 seconds of the same tempo and guitar patterns being relayed over and over again, minus a few groovy dives and slides, the track seems to become a wee bit monotonous. In any case, the vocalists mid range shouts are still exactly what you want and expect in a hardcore band, strong in delivery yet lacking in pitch diversity, it appears he has found his sweet spot in vocal limits, and is not willing to compromise that, for this EP anyway.
The drummer adds to each track with a very tight playing style that compliments the guitars with tremendous effect, which is quite necessary as the guitarists display a less than genius writing technique, with the same tri-tone breakdowns and slow 4 fret diversity riffs becoming like the vocals, just a touch repetitive, aside the added second layer of the 12-17th fret higher key riffs which share the same ominous effect as Oceano’s “District Of Misery” and pretty much any song from Northlane. That being said, let it take nothing away from Monolith that bands have done it before them, as they execute that same dark ambiance perfectly in each of the 4 tracks.
Though it isn’t necessarily the genre I would fill my MP3 Player with personally, It is evident that the boys from Monolith have spent a considerable amount of time in mastering each of their tracks and using techniques that are prominent in other, larger bands, and kudos to them for trying to put their own spin on things. I believe the key elements that let this EP slip between the cracks is the overuse of Emmure based chugs and drops, and the vocalist staying well restricted to the same vocal limit the entire EP through, I would expect that if their was slightly more technical guitar work between breakdowns or even if the vocalist tried a deep gutteral roar here and there, that they would go hand in hand with an already haunting tone that Monolith have spawned, thus creating something that would REALLY blow me away.
I look forward to seeing these guys in the future though, seeing what new sounds and techniques they stir into an already very promising mix.