Live gig review by Alan Daly
© Olga Kuzmenko
Photos by Olga Kuzmenko
While on vacation in Reykjavík, we could not resist taking an unscheduled break from touring the land of fire and ice to catch a gig by Dutch death metallers The Monolith Deathcult. We immediately feel at home amongst our Icelandic metal brethren in the small live music venue Gamli Gaukurinn, located next door to the Dubliner Irish bar. Tonight there are two performances; an all-ages show at 6pmand an over-20’s show at 9pm. We arrive at about 10pm; unfortunately missing out on the first of two support acts; a female-fronted death metal quartet from right here in Reykjavík called Angist.
The second support act are Gone Postal; an experimental black/death metal band hailing from nearby Kópavogur, whose post-metal-esque sound is both enchanting and provoking. Their use of a finger-plucked electric upright bass is interesting and adds another dramatic sight and sound to their performance. The band seldom break out of their trance-like states and barely acknowledge the largely lethargic audience before them. A handful of dedicated fans show support, but most seem to be waiting for the main act.
They do not have long to wait. Shortly after Gone Postal leave the stage, the house lights dim and an eerie version of Scottish folk song ‘Donald, where’s your troosers’ bemuses some and bypasses others as the maleficent members of The Monolith Deathcult take their positions onstage. The outlandish intro reflects their light-hearted twist on the usual darkness of death metal.
Their presence immediately dominates the small stage and a cloud of thick smokes adds to the shadowy atmosphere as they hammer out tracks from their highly respected 2008 album Trivmvirate and their latest offering Tetragammaton. Although the audience is limited to little over fifty fans, they are quickly drawn close to the stage; soaking up the music and headbanging while enjoying their notoriously expensive beers. One excited fan in particular seems to have more energy and enthusiasm than most, and tries his damnedest to get a mosh pit going, but to no avail.
The dark and cloudy stage lighting is contrasted by the midnight daylight streaming through a window close to the stage; something our body clocks are still getting used to. The sound in the venue is loud and clear, and although we were not previously familiar with their music, it is difficult not to enjoy their striking showmanship and dramatic delivery. An imposing and impressive performance, especially considering it was their second of the day, and The Monolith Deathcult have made a lasting first impression on this reviewer.
The Monolith Deathcult