Released: 2007, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Here´s a band that had made a real masterplan for themselves since the very beginning: “Let´s create genre-free metal so that no one can ever categorize our music properly, ha-ha!!”. Well, at least their masterplan worked for me as far as Monsterworks´ mish-mash of several different styles on the band´s 5th album, SPACIAL OPERATIONS (which is a concept album - go and read their homepage what it's actually about), is concerned.
Originally coming from New Zealand, Monsterworks have gained a name for themselves as a very hard-hitting metal act that, as I said earlier, incorporates many different elements into one tight, unique sounding package. Monsterworks don´t belong to any specific category musically, and in fact, there´s no need for that either. The band members obviously want to play in several sandboxes at the very same time, just to see the outcome of their own play. And they do play well indeed, unbiasedly feeling comfortable by adding some progressive bits into Heavy Metal - and then bringing in a somewhat strange blend of Thrash, Death and Black Metal. And the result is - believe it or not, pretty damn amazing and somehow so smartly thought out. The band´s vocalist named Jon, also uses his voice in as many variable ways as possible - screaming, growling, singing and even doing a bit black metal type of snarling (check out “Stars Malign”) - using a whole cavalcade of his vocal skills to make it fit with the nature of each song. Jon does a great job, really understanding what type of vocalisation some certain song parts need. And if even more credit is to be given, then both Jon´s (again) and Ian´s innovative and progressive guitar work needs a mention for sure. Solos are pretty much all neat and riffage, which is basically the most domination element in their songs, is just superb most of the time. No one can really question about these fellows´ ability to be the masters of their 6-stringers.
From such roaring and deadly, but so well controlled outburst as “November" (which, in fact, reminds me a great deal of Atheist a bit here and there), “Hysterical Rapture”, “Alliance” and “Voyage of Magma Maiden”, to a bit tamer cuts such as “Spacial Forces”, “Defenders of the Southern Cross" (which, as a single song, almost has the same hypnotic identity and intelligence as Devin Townsend´s material has) and “The Lonely Crowd”, which sounds oddly like that one Amorphis´ song “My Kantele” from the beginning. SPACIAL OPERATIONS works out like a good menu of a restaurant; there´s something for everyone on it.
So, quite ´monsterworks´ on this album all in all. Monsterworks bring in a breath of fresh air and show how some barriers between metal genres can be crushed without misconducting too radical excesses - and still tending to be crazy enough for its own good. It´s really a multi-layered album that needs some time to get fully opened in front of a listener.
Oh, before I forget, I want to mention shortly SPACIAL OPERATIONS is also available for download from their website.