Next review: » Monsterworks - S/T
Released: 2014, Eat Lead and Die
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
It's a rare thing indeed for a band to challenge itself thematically and create an album which contains meaning which transcends the sum of it's parts. Offering blends of classic, heavy and, at times, progressive influence, Monsterworks' August 2014 release of 'Overhaul' explores themes of civilization and mankind's necessity to evolve in order to circumvent it's untimely destruction, to create a genre I've decided to dub 'thinking man's metal'. The band's decision to release this via not only digital distribution, but also on vinyl as well, I think, optimises an attempt to synergise the classic and the contemporary to give rise to something new.
While the extent by which this is achieved is not something that I am entirely convinced by, the frenetic mix of styles offers a musicality which offers some fantastic moments, but without creating a seamless flow I would have hoped for in an album hinged around a common theme. What they have put together though is definitively a 'band performance', which I think it needed to be in order to not be seen as self-indulgent or preachy. The technical ability of the performers is undoubted, but it is the strength by which they are forged together that is more impressive.
The metaphor I can't get away from when listening to this is it's like a tabletop of scattered jigsaw pieces that, when put together, resembles something different to what was on the cover. But then, if the album is exploring themes of humanity's need to break away from a paradigm of growth and self destruction, then what better way than to shatter the components of what came before and give rise to the phoenix from the flames; something which comes across in the overall feel of the album.
I found it quite difficult to immerse myself completely within what they are trying to achieve because quite often the influences on show seem to juxtapose each other and the result of this comes something which is simultaneously timeless, yet dated. Having said that, despite lacking a recognisable core, you can tell that the band enjoy a creative verve and musical freedom that is seldom replicated by others. The concept here comes from an intelligent design and on many levels is worthy of appreciation.
Review by Chris Brown
1. Educate the Masses
2. To Do What Must Be Done
4. Trial of the Sentient
Vocals/ Guitars - Jon
Bass - Hugo
Lead Guitar - Marcus
Previous review: » Monster Magnet - Mastermind