Jan 9, 2012

Behold! The Monolith – Defender, Redeemist ...

Set to be released in a couple of weeks from now is the new album from Behold! The Monolith titled 'Defender, Redeemist.' It will be the band’s third release and its best thus far and certainly their most aggressive. Combining elements of stoner, sludge, doom and straight-out intense metal, this band is not your usual stoner-metal act, they are much more than that. While the band has a pure doom-laden sound, it is mostly a wall of apocalyptic sound, tempos, and energy that goes against the grain of what you usually hear in doom, stoner and sludge metal. The diversity within the album makes this a whirlwind ride for all lovers of heavy music, not just doom fans, even fans of death and black metal should find much to get excited about with 'Defender, Redeemist.' What strikes me is if you peel back the layers, some of the songs have old-school heavy rock/metal riffs that are not far removed from the likes of early 80's NWOBHM bands but it is delivered with such intensity and heaviness that you may miss it if you are not paying close attention.

The opening intro piece, 'Guardian's Procession' sets the apocalyptic mood before it crashes into the first real track, 'Halv King.' This track bolts out of the gates with aggression and an intensity which may surprise those expecting a typical plodding doom vibe. After bashing the listener around the head for a short while, it finally drops a gear into a very doomy, sludge, atmospheric tune that features hooky riffs and wonderfully blistering solos. Things don't let it for the next track, 'Desolizator' which is one part Down-ish stoner-metal, one part sheer brutality. Full of interesting little changes, this track keeps your mind glued to what is spewing from the speakers for almost 7 killer minutes. 'Redeemist' is the first of the albums epic tracks. This 11 minute monster cut is full of diverse switches in tempo and mood so it never gets dull but it is more of the same but the "same" here is all killer so I am not complaining.

'We Are the Worm' is another high-energy burner with nearly 5 minutes of sabbathian riffage played at various tempos. This is of course what makes the album so good is it never settles down in any one direction, tempo, or style so it is forever delivering surprises and never predictable. 'Witch Hunt Supreme' is a song that originally appeared on the band’s debut EP but makes another appearance here and I have to say it is most welcome. I don't know why they decided to include it here but it fits in well with the rest of the album so again, no complaints. 'Cast on the Black/Lamentor/Guided by the Southern Cross' is next and it is the second of the two epic's, and I mean real EPIC! This is close to 14 minutes of a three-part trilogy of sabbathian sludgy riffing, mind-melting solos and the three parts are all distinctly different but all blend together remarkably well.

First part of this epic piece is slow, menacing doom. The second part is surprising relaxed considering all the head-bashing madness that has preceded this section of the album. The track soon returns to a more tradition stoner-metal/sludge vibe for the last section of the piece. Again it reminds me of a heavier, more intense version of Down but only much more interesting in my opinion. The album then ends on 'Bull Colossi' which almost seems like a let-down after the epic that it follows but 'Cast on the Black/Lamentor/Guided by the Southern Cross' is so huge in scope and depth that any track following it will seem small by comparison. Then after an hour or so, it is over. 'Behold! The Monolith' have really outdone themselves with this one. I always knew this band was good but I didn't expect this. 'Defender, Redeemist' is my first favorite album of 2012. It is a flawless album that should push the band to the next level of popularity. Killer stuff...........10/10.

Official Website


  1. You can stream two tracks and pre-order the album at their Bandcamp (added to Metal Bandcamp here)

  2. "Defender, Redeemist" available NOW!!!



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