Album Reviews

Ethereal Architect – Monolith Review

Released By : Self Released

Genre : Progressive Metal

Link : http://etherealarchitect.com/

 

Lineup:

Adam – Vocals

David – Guitar/Keys

Jake – Drums

Thad – Bass

 

Tracklist:

01. Kalinago

02. Mercury

03. Obsidian

04. Oceans

05. Final Escape

06. Revolutions

07. Obscura

08. Bardo Becoming

09. Submission

 

I was put onto ETHEREAL ARCHITECT by a music pal of mine a little while ago. At first I had kindly denied his request of me to check their new album out as I just had that much music to get through that I really didn’t need another unsigned band on my checklist. Out of curiosity, and if I’m being honest, a little persistence from said friend, I decided I’d check out a couple of samples and go from there. Gee I’m glad I did so in the end as I was greeted with an album that is both interesting and comforting at the same time and some of the most enjoyable progressive based music I have listened to in quite a while.

Stylistically MONOLITH is a tricky one to pin down… Progressive Metal is the easiest genre to stick it into, but there is also a real Power Metal influence, some MARILLION-esque Art-Rock, a bit of ORPHANED LAND-esque world-wariness and for lack of better words EPIC, GRANDOISE and OPERATIC. Seriously, at times this music feels as though it should be accompanying some massive set-piece stage show about knights and kings etc…

I’m led to believe that the production on the band’s previous debut release, 2007’s DISSENSION, was let down by some very ordinary production work, now whilst MONOLITH won’t win any awards for its studio work, it’s definitely serviceable and sounds decent through headphones and pretty good through a hi-fi system. The lower end gets a bit muddy on higher-end audio systems, but provided the volume is kept balanced it’s an issue that can be looked over. Some of the vocals are a little too obtrusive in places, but that may just be due to the fact that there are a few guest vocal spots that aren’t in the same caliber as the rest so they seem to stick out a bit more, the lead vocals though are great and have a real operatic and arty feel to them and get the message across without having to resort to any aggression or screaming (a nice change for modern progressive music).

I was quite impressed with MONOLITH in the end and would be happy to recommend it to any progressive music fan that enjoys discovering something a little different from the norm. There’s not much the band need to do to improve, but I would really love to see what they could create with a record label backed studio budget and a couple of really talented desk guys to just help them tighten things up a little bit and really get the most out of them… A band to watch out for me thinks, looking forward to album number three already.

 

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 7/10

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