Monuments – In Stasis
Released: April 15, 2022
Andy Cizek // Vocals
John Browne // Guitars
Adam Swan // Bass
Mike Malyan// Drums
How good is prog? It’s not the style of music I naturally gravitate to – I usually find myself subconsciously leaning towards metalcore. BUT when I do listen to prog, I enjoy it so much and wonder why I don’t do it more.
That brings me to UK proggers and djent-lords Monuments and their latest offering In Stasis.
Industrial sounds and jarring notes start the album on ‘No One Will Teach’, which quickly gets into fantastic bass riffs from Adam Swan. Then we hear vocalist Andy Cizek’s contrasting heavy notes and cleans straight away and we get a rad feature from past-Monuments vocalist Neema Askari. Furious drumming from Mike Malyan and guitar from John Browne start the second song ‘Lavos’, and these first two songs give the listener a glimpse into how fun, furious and intense the rest of the album will be.
Next up are ‘Cardinal Red’ and ‘Opiate’ – my favourite songs on the album. The instruments in ‘Cardinal Red’ weave through the song, the vocals are so good, and this is all supported by incredible drumming. The chorus is goosebump-inducing and has a ‘rise up’ call to arms feel. ‘Cardinal Red’ and ‘Lavos’ feature composer Mick Gordon, who’s worked with Bring Me The Horizon and on the DOOM soundtrack, to name just two of his many incredible projects.
‘Opiate’ opens with haunting siren-song female vocals, going into electronic sounds, then to heavy djenty instruments. The melodies have a Middle Eastern feel, and this song stands out against the rest of the album. ‘Collapse’ shows off Andy’s chops as a heavy vocalist. There are the usual soaring cleans, but the heavy notes in both his high and guttural registers are fantastic. The drums in this song are wild too!
There isn’t much more I can elaborate on other than these songs, and this album is damn good. ‘Arch Essence’ features Spencer Sotelo of Periphery and slows down getting super proggy, technical and melodic with yet another fantastic chorus. Then comes ‘Somnus’ and ‘False Providence’, another Mick-Gordon-featuring, five-minute epic of a song. There are strings and cool, spacey-sounding bass notes and fun sound effects.
The album closes with ‘Makeshift Harmony’ and ‘The Cimmerian’, the former of which has a slightly different feel. There are still heavy prog elements, but it sees Andy taking a slightly poppier route with his cleans – which sounds excellent. This song sounds fancy and super technical to my non-technical ears but in a poppier way – making it accessible. Album finisher ‘The Cimmerian’ is an eight-minute epic that includes a beautiful classical guitar moment partway through.
Initially, I didn’t think I was going to have much to say because I was like, “This is all just really good; how can I say ‘really good’ ten times over?”. Am I completely obsessed with this album? Not entirely, but that doesn’t mean it’s not amazing. Like I said – it’s not my natural lean towards, but this has taught me I need to reach out to prog WAY more. Whether you’re usually into prog or not – give this album a listen; I doubt you’ll regret it. Hopefully, my brain will allow this album to stay in my regular listening rotation (ADHD pals will understand).
Monuments – In Stasis tracklisting
1. No One Will Teach You feat. Neema Askari
3. Cardinal Red feat. Mick Gordon
6. Arch Essence feat. Spencer Sotelo
8. False Providence
9. Makeshift Harmony
10. The Cimmerian
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