Bremen, Germany’s Monolith is a three-piece traditional doom metal band that invokes all the founders of the genre. DYSTOPIA consists of seven tracks rooted in Sabbatherian 70s metal with a course plotted somewhere between Pentagram and Saint Vitus. Released on Final Gate records, the band has accomplished its deliberate mission to deliver a retro doom metal album that was mostly recorded live and in the studio, with minimal mastering or overdubs. The end result is a faithful and lovingly crafted homage to doom that while derivative is imbued with unmistakable passion.
Tipping their hat to the forefathers, “Won’t Come Down” is pure Sabbath from Ralf Brummerloh’s best Ozzy impersonation to the stacks of thick power chords crushing through a buzzing and bass driven mix. It is head wrecker of a tune, the band clearly leading with their best foot. “Cosmic Fairy” probably leans hardest into the 70s, with elements of Sabbath and even Led Zeppelin’s “Out on The Tiles” riffage shining through. Overdriven buzzing permeates the title track as the album continues its plodding journey towards its conclusion, the overlong “Rainbow.”
When the purple haze finally clears, the album stands as a painstakingly constructed reproduction of vintage Sabbath mixed with St. Vitus. Heck, the album sounds more like Sabbath than 13 did, but ultimately Pentagram, St. Vitus, and The Obsessed are equally represented. At the end of the day, doom/stoner fans that can get past the obvious and intentional clone job here will find much to appreciate in Monolith’s competent delivery. Just do not expect much variety.
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1. Won’t Come Down
2. Cosmic Fairy
5. Acid Rain
6. Sleepless Eyes