Hey there tech fiends, it's that time of the week again. Before we dive into today's focus, here's the usual reminder that if you're looking for more sick music, all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
Back in 2013, the Florida-based group Monotheist made a splash in the scene with the release of Genesis Of Perdition. While that one didn’t blow me away enough to fall in love with it, it did show me the group had talent and ambition in spades. Which is a big part of why I eagerly checked out the first single from Scourge, scorching album opener “The Grey King", when it dropped on February 1st. Upon digging into the full album only a few times, I was very impressed and eagerly signed up to do today’s exclusive early full stream of Scourge. Which will be officially released by Prosthetic Records this Friday, March 16th.
As an album, Scourge has positioned itself in a unique spot within the technical death metal landscape. Equal parts prog-death and ultra-aggressive, Scourge bucks the norm when it comes to choosing one side of the coin to devote oneself to within this style. Usually, that means either the aggressive or prog side suffering at the ambition of the other, yet Scourge compelling offers a unique vision on both fronts from start to finish. A rare feat usually only accomplished by seasoned musicians with a highly developed vision of their own songwriting style. The group’s statement on their Bandcamp page regarding their sound aptly sums up their music as “progressive extreme metal band from Orlando, Florida who play a mix of brutal technical death metal reminiscent of bands like Suffocation, Death, and Immolation, with progressive influences ala Cynic, Extol and Opeth.” In addition to the albums incredible performances from both guitarists, their killer bassist, and monstrous drummer, Scourge is further buoyed by the powerful and commanding vocals of JJ “Shiv” Polachek, his charisma and ferocity add a dark and theatrical to the albums vibrant and multi-faceted songs. There's even a bit of saxophone, congas, clean singing, and numerous killer guest spots sprinkled throughout the record for good measure.
There’s little I can say in the negative as it pertains to Scourge, this a fun and exciting album, with a lot to dig into on each and every song. If anything, my only real complaint with it is that the pacing gets bogged down once the albums three 10-minute long songs kick in one after the other starting with “Infinite Wisdom”, followed by “Desolate, It Mourns Before Me”, and closed out with “Abominable Acts”. It’s not really that any of the three are bad songs, merely that between the last two of them in particular, there are more than a few sections as well as overly repeated passages that could have been trimmed or lost. In spite of feeling that way, all three certainly feature a litany of impressive moments and stunning highlights to be clear.
From their early beginnings on 2013’s Genesis Of Perdition, Monotheist has greatly evolved beyond what their prior efforts showcased, leading them to a higher place on Scourge where they've carved out a sound and songwriting style that’s more uniquely their own. So be sure to check out our exclusive stream of Scourge below, and for the sake of sharing what I’m most passionate about, my three favorite cuts here I can't say enough good things about are: "The Grey King", “Mark of the Beast II: Scion of Darkness”, and “Infinite Wisdom”. If you enjoy what you’re hearing, Monotheist – Scourge can be ordered through a variety of platforms listed and linked to here. Be sure to follow the group moving forwards over on the Monotheist Facebook page.