Monolithe - Monolithe II
Opressive Doom Metal
1 songs (50'24")
Release year: 2005
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

Here is one album that needs to be experienced. I am very deliberate with my choice of words, experienced, not just listened to. Monolithe will not leave people on middle ground, they will either love it, like yours truly, or they will hate it, not being able to make it past minute 10 of this slab. You ought to prepare yourself, however, as this experience is not to be taken lightly. Casual listen will not do. Parts and pieces of the album on your way to the next moment of life minutia is not how Monolithe II was intended to be experienced. Find time to be alone for an hour. Disassociate yourself from everything else, your joys, fears, worries and ordinary emotions. Then, immerse. Headphones are optional, but recommended. Playing it loud on the quality surround sound will amplify the effect. You must be thinking by now what I am talking about, so please let me explain.

The last thing to be called doom-lite, Monolithe is a creation of a Frenchman named Sylvain Begot. For once I do not want to go on the band’s website and research the origins of the band, line-up, etc. I want Monolithe to remain this massive and mysterious creation, the way I first heard it with Monolithe II. Even the band picture is so fuzzy you can’t make out the individual faces.

I would call this album Doom of a New Age. Ambitious and presumptive, Monolithe II is one 50 minute plus long doom track, the way I understand their debut Monolithe I was as well (clocking at 52 minutes). Throughout those 50 minutes we are subjected to one non-stop monstrous oppressive, almost scary, European doom metal music. Imagine the sharp dark pain My Dying Bride induces, and then continue to apply it to the open wound for 50 minutes in a row. Monolithe II allows itself to be more melodic at the beginning to suck the unsuspecting listener into its suffocating vortex. On the later stages monumental melodic riffs intermingle with dissonant parts intended to mess up your comprehending senses. Whether it is the guitars or the combination thereof with some sound effects, I don’t care, I hear bells, harmonica and so much note bending on the guitars it does sound like moaning.

The sound of Monolithe II is spacey and cavernous at the same time. Rhythm guitar provides thick static foggy fuzz, while the leads are very clean in tone and possess undeniable progressive flair. Drums and minimalistic growly vocals are buried in the mix as if they are coming from the wolf pit where 7th century British liked to torture rarely captured Vikings with war drums beating in the background.

Making your album as one track long song is a challenge. Only truly talented (Edge of Sanity on Crimson and Green Carnation on Light of Day, Day of Darkness) can pull it off. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that Monolithe II should not have been done any other way. Even at 50 min long, there are only few moments where doom pressure is being slightly released.

Not useful when you are feeling happy, Monolithe II is highly recommended when you are physically hurt, undergoing the state of serious mental anguish or just plain thinking in general terms where the hell this world is coming to.

Killing Songs :
One and all
Alex quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Monolithe that we have reviewed:
Monolithe - Okta Khora reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Monolithe - Monolithe IV reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
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