Genre: Progressive Deathcore
EP Year: 2013
Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia
“Antonyms” is hands-down the best deathcore EP of the year so far, and one of the best debut releases I have heard in quite a while. The Monolith combines deathcore, progressive metal / ”djent” and ambient in a way that I have never heard before.
The electronic / ambient intro to this EP totally caught me by surprise. Once the heavy guitars kicked in, I was afraid this was just going to be a boring deathcore release with a cool intro. The second track, Antipathy (The Lion’s Den) proved me wrong, and the EP only gets better from there.
The riffs are heavy and mildly technical in the early stages, while the end of the EP is a lot more melodic and unique. There are low chugs, hardcore riffs, upper-string melodies, and riff patterns that would make Vildhjarta proud. There are also a lot of post-metal style parts that make me wonder if The Monolith will eventually help pioneer post-deathcore. Curtis and Justin (the guitarists) did an absolutely fantastic job with the writing. Avery’s bass work isn’t the most audible, but it is solid. I have a feeling it would be a lot more impressive in a live setting. The drumming by Kyle Benson is appropriately rhythmic, and isn’t unnecessarily fast.
Adam’s vocals complement the music perfectly for the most part, with a few exceptions here and there. The vocals range from Bozeman-style lows to clear shouts and powerful highs, with a few gutturals thrown in. Overall, he is an impressive vocalist and only disappointed once with a Frankie Palmeri-esque vocal part. The lyrics complement the melodic music, with a few violent lines that didn’t really make sense in the context of the song. Of course, a lot of his vocals are delivered during the heavier parts, with melodic instrumentals in between. I would have liked a few more mids and highs, but I was definitely not disappointed.
“Antonyms” is a solid debut EP that left me wanting more. I am anxious to see where this band goes in the future, because they have a lot of talent and potential. The Monolith absolutely deserves to be on a major label, and could definitely have a major impact in the metal scene.