The Beautiful Monument – I’m The Reaper
Released: June 28th, 2019
Lizi Blanco // Vocals
Andrea Skoumbri // Guitar
Alex Henderson // Guitar
Amy McIntosh // Bass
There’s a lot of hype and pressure that comes with releasing a second album… Will it live up to expectations? Have the band progressed since the first outing? Will there be anything new on the table for fans? Is it any good? All of those questions can be answered with a swift “Hell Yes” when it comes to The Beautiful Monument‘s latest offering I’m The Reaper, a title which continues the lyrics of the song ‘Sins‘ from their debut release I’m The Sin and if you’re expecting the albums to be connected in some way shape or form, you’re in luck as certain songs bridge the gap between releases.
The album kicks off with ‘Give Up‘, featuring a synth-heavy intro and frontwoman Lizi Blanco‘s distorted vocals before erupting into an all in contribution from the band. This track sounds so far advanced compared to the band’s previous release and I can’t help but imagine this one being played in larger sized arenas in future, as it has that full sounding stadium rock feel to it. ‘Deceiver‘ ups the speed and ferocity for a song that fans of previous tracks like ‘Disorder‘ or ‘Manifestation‘ will absolutely froth over. Its been out as a single for four months and if you haven’t heard it yet, time to give yourself an uppercut! In a live setting, this song rips hard with plenty of sing-a-longs and crowd chant sections, but the way the band play so cohesively proves they’ve found their right lineup and they bounce off each other so well throughout this one.
‘Burn‘ is up next and the rock vibes continue on with riff city supplied by shredmaster Andrea Skoumbri. I’m sensing some possible inspiration from The Getaway Plan‘s breakthrough album Where The City Meets The Sea with this one too so if you bashed out that album back in the day, chances are this will become your new fav song. ‘Reaper‘ on the other hand, is fast becoming one of my treasured findings of the year. The song is about an old friend of the band, Justin Nichol, who also used to manage them back in their earlier days, who sadly lost his life a few years back. The story is told from Lizi’s perspective of how she found out the news and the grief and emotional rollercoaster which followed. Despite it being about their story with Justin, the relatability for anyone who has lost someone can be experienced when giving this a spin. I personally had a breakdown a few weeks back driving home and hearing similarities to when my other past away through the lyrics which hit me so fucking hard, I had to pull over to the side of the road to calm myself down. Never have I ever had a song relate to such a difficult moment in my life (which I still am yet to fully address on a personal level), but this track helped with accepting what had happened and let me know we’re not alone when we experience huge moments of loss in our lives. I’ve been a firm believer in music helping to ease out pain momentarily (until you/we can seek professional help to deal with our emotions) and this song is definitely going to help a lot of people in similar circumstances. Balladesque rock at it’s absolute finest. An instant masterpiece, especially with lyrics like “I just can’t lose you/How can I face it?/I’m scared out of my mind/You’re gone/it breaks my heart” and “Nothing hurts like losing someone you can’t get back/All I have is this stupid voicemail you left on my phone/I have to listen to it every time I start to forget what you sounded like”
But enough moping about though, ‘Kintsugi‘ is up next and the mood and tempo is brought back up tenfold for an uplifting song about repairing the pieces of your life. ‘Invisible‘ opens with a focus on the drums this time which are complete with double kicking and a hard rock style that compliment Amy McIntosh‘s heavy bass lines throughout. There are group chants, potential mic-grab opportunities and Lizi’s melodic vocals during the song’s slow section will fill your body with warmth and put a smile on that face of yours… hopefully! But, don’t expect to be smiling for too long as ‘Stay‘ is up next and if you’ve come from a family with a troubled relationship with your parents, this is going to hit you like a tonne of bricks, right in the feels. The song was written about Lizi’s relationship with her parents, and (more so) about her father and his disapproval of her lifestyle choices while growing up. In two ways, it’s about how their relationship grew better once she moved away (distance makes the heart grow fonder anyone!?) and how she would always have her mother’s back with any decision she made regarding the situation. This coming-of-age track should be the first thing any teenager/young adult hears when they come to the realisation that their parents only want what’s best for them and they were being hard on them to put them on the right track. We all usually go through that moment in our early 20’s, so if you’re there, give this a spin and then give your parents a call and tell them you love them. It’s hard to put this song into a specific genre as it’s got everything from melodic-metal, emo all the way to alternative rock and that is one of the things that The Beautiful Monument do so well with all of their releases. ‘Cursed‘ kicks off with some heavy synth action and if the backing instrumentals were a little heavier, it would sound right at home on Bring Me The Horizon‘s Sempiternal album, so if that sounds tantalising, this one is for you. My only negative thought for this one was the synth at times sounded overbearing compared to the other instrumentals. It’s not a situation of it being overused, but more so overtaking the rest of the band’s efforts.
Not to worry though, because arguably the heaviest track from the album is up next with ‘Ida‘ blowing me away from the first time I heard it. This is the sound I have waited to hear The Beautiful Monument tackle and holy shit, they absolutely nailed it. Everyone is on point during this, Lizi’s vocals, Andy and Alex’s riffage, Amy’s bass + their studio drummer. If there was ever to be a circle pit at a TBM show, it’d break out for this one and if the girls would introduce some screaming into their songs in future years, add some to this and you’ve got the makings of an exceptional metalcore offering. Try and listen to this song just the one time, I guarantee you won’t be able to. ‘The Silencer‘ is the final song on the album and it seems the ladies have left two of the best tracks for last (because we all know climaxes should be remembered) and if you lean towards the heavier, rockier songs from TBM, this is going to fulfil your expectations for what the band are truly capable of. Guaranteed to be a crowd favourite at future shows, this has the potential to be their new opening song which will certainly get the crowd moving and joining in with claps, singing and moshing. A fitting finale to a great second album.
The Beautiful Monument are back and despite some setbacks with losing members and uncertainty of their future looming above their heads, they’ve found their footing, their purpose and the direction they need to be heading in to maintain their fast-moving dominance in Australia’s heavy music scene. I’m The Reaper is genre-crossing rock at it’s absolute best and while some bands struggle with the ability to showcase different styles in one sitting, The Beautiful Monument flourishes with a diverse musical range so far advanced for a band of their lifespan.
The Beautiful Monument – I’m The Reaper tracklisting
1. Give Up
10. The Silencer
Revisit TBM’s Andrea Skoumbri co-hosting our Wall of Sound: Up Against The Wall podcast chatting all things I’m The Reaper right here