This is the first album from the Dutch quintet Monomyth, a purely instrumental metal journey from light into the dark and back again. My first port of call whenever listening to something new is to slam on my headphones and listen to it until I can’t stand it anymore. With most albums you have a select few songs that you might end up skipping and unfortunately it’s not missing a few skippable tracks but oddly though you don’t immediately want to skip them.
The album starts off beautifully with ‘Vanderwaalskrachten‘ and what I like to call the journey into light, a mellow uplift with hints of 70s rock and prog it progresses nicely with some lovely build ups to heavier rock components. It brings us perfectly into the album by being less confusing than its name. Simple melodies that do that their part in drawing you into this journey and leads us beautifully into the next track ‘Vile Vortices‘ which starts off with the mellowness of the previous track but we know our path is changing from the outset. The keyboardist has pulled out the organ sound effects and the electric guitar has dropped off into some creepy sustains, which build up leading us into the drop where we have some heavier and darker undertones bringing in some spooky harmonics. The keyboardist does his part beautifully in ‘Vile Vortices‘, the organ sets the mood perfectly for us and brings everything else together. It’s really what sets the track alight. We continue down this creepy path to the middle of the album, the dark part of the album. Sadly this darkness doesn’t just relate to the depth of emotion this track takes you to, but this is the darkness that will make you want to skip the tracks half way through.
My main quibble here is not necessarily the length of the tracks but simply the repetitiveness of them. You unfortunately reach a point with both the middle tracks ‘The Groom Lake Engine‘ and ‘Loch Ness‘ that leaves you wanting to skip them. The tracks themselves aren’t badly put together, the combination of instruments here is again extremely well structured. You have nice eerie sound effects behind the track with the bass leading the way to give us that great depth that these tracks emit so well.
Unfortunately the organ that gave us so much aural pleasure earlier in the album, now leaves us feeling slightly pained. It does however still add nicely to the darkness these tracks are supposed to portray, or I assume are meant to portray, as this journey into the depths hits a turn for the worse. The melody reaches a feeling of dejavu, like walking around in circles, you’ll feel a bit stuck or trapped.
Luckily with ‘Huygens‘ just around the corner some salvation is in sight as it brings us safe and sound back into the light, and it frees us with such vigor that you probably won’t be able to refrain yourself from shaking a fist of epic approval in the air and shouting fuck yeah whilst sitting on the bus home. True story. ‘Huygens’ main attraction is the drum beat which is extremely enlightening, a perfect upbeat tempo that gives vigour to the soul and helps this track bring us to the end of our journey.
I wouldn’t say this is the best instrumental work I’ve heard but it’s a damn good start for this new band. They’re essentially finding their feet together with this LP and I look forward to seeing what they put out next.
Scribed by: Antony Bartlett