WE’RE STRAINING AT THE LEASH! Amebix – Monolith Review
|Genre||Crust / Thrash|
|Record Label||Heavy Metal Records|
|Release Type||Full Length|
Monolith is not the first album from Amebix, and certainly not the last, it stands before a very long gap of inactiveness and it somehow serves as a temporary farewell and as such, it is to be cherished as a gem of Punk, with a sound unlike regular Punk from the time (Monolith was released in 1987), and this is an interesting statement, since Punk had evolved much by that moment, branching further away from its roots and becoming increasingly experimental, thus, Monolith truly stands out from the rest while never ceasing to be a Punk record.
“Monolith” the opening track from the album, is such a strange way to begin, yet so delicate and hypnotizing it’s almost confusing. At first you wonder how the album will shape up to be, the guitar riffs are very unlike Punk but somehow the band manages to add Punk elements little by little, carefully, until before you know it, and just within a minute you are inside a full blown Punk record. This start is something that could only be described as tremendously satisfying, as the intro is great rock in itself, shaped up to be Amebix’s intent, and the fact that it is this track the one that the album is named after is a move of genius.
Rob Miller’s vocals are finally properly introduced in “Nobody’s Driving” and there is something charming and compelling about the way he recites the lyrics against the music, something very unique of Amebix, even with his classic English Punk accent. The bass and alluring guitars of “The Power Remains” follow suit with enough speed to keep the flow but slightly calmer and looming before “Time Bomb” brings back the bulk of the power guitars and “Last Will and Testament” serves as an open door to the more experimental recesses that wait on ahead.
Moving onwards, “I.C.B.M” stands out as a massive, 6 minute bombing of great rhythm through and through and cutting, paced vocals, consistent and theatrical, a sharper edge among all others. “Chain Reaction” also stands on its own with its more Rock vibes shining through the chords, more structured and contained, maintaining some order among the delightful chaos. Well produced and handled, perhaps with an instrumental a bit too glorious on its own for the vocals to match it, but vocals are very welcome nonetheless. “Chain Reaction” is pleasantly planned to be a breath and resting point towards the end of the album, and one should be thankful for such pieces.
“Fallen from Grace” is another of those brilliant moments, like “Monolith” and “Chain Reaction” it leans more on the Rock side for a bit, lingering in the peace of the strings before dragging you back again into the energizing tempo that makes Punk incredible. Finally, “Coming Home” starts off even more interestingly than the rest, to tie everything together into this child of Punk Rock with stirring vocals and truly engaging drums, and even introducing melodic elements that were scarce for its kind throughout the album, soft, haunting synths to complete the immersive and passionate work of Amebix, proving than Punk can be larger than itself and that it’s the fearlessness of those who venture beyond that brings glory to it.
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Amebix - Monolith to tie everything together into this child of Punk Rock with stirring vocals and truly engaging drums, and even introducing melodic elements that were scarce for its kind throughout the album, soft, haunting synths to complete the immersive and passionate work of Amebix, proving than Punk can be larger than itself and that it's the fearlessness of those who venture beyond that brings glory to it.