Monolith review by In Mourning

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  • Released: Jan 25, 2010
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (23 votes)
In Mourning: Monolith
1

Sound — 8
In Mourning's debut Shrouded Divine made quite a splash back in 2008, and as with all successful debuts, there is a fair amount of anticipation involved with the sophomore effort.

The group once again chose to work with producer Jonas Kjellgren, and pleasingly enough the production has improved by a few notches. Shrouded Divine wasn't poorly produced, but there were bits and pieces that could be improved, such as the snare drum which almost singlehandedly made the album painful to listen to. Monolith has no major deficiencies in that department and given the apparent heaviness, it's almost surprising how clear and well defined the instruments are.

Lyrics — 8
Tobias Netzell has improved his vocals by leaps and bounds from Shrouded Divine. He has basically doubled his amount of different voices, from two to four. The death metal growl (a very good one I might add) and the cleans are still the ones used for most of the album, but screaming and a black-esque style has also been added to the mix.

Netzell's growling is at times very reminiscent of a certain Mikael kerfeldt, which perhaps comes as no surprise as Opeth and similar bands are an obvious influence on the band as a whole. However, Netzell has begun to find his own voice more and more and it has come to the point that making the comparison is more of a stretch than it used to be.

Overall Impression — 9
When Shrouded Divine came out it was apparent to me that In Mourning had the ability to pen a really, really good album. On Monolith they've really trimmed the fat and improved as songwriters, gaining a better feel for how the song should go and what the three guitarists need to do in order to maximize the rather unique potential they have with such a line-up.

Monolith excels where it matters - songwriting and execution. While being a fairly lengthy release, clocking in at 57 minutes, the flow and quality of the songs makes it feel a lot shorter. Stylistically they haven't changed much from the debut, it's still melodic death metal with a good chunk of progressive thinking thrown into the mix, but this time around everything feels much more purposeful and mapped out.

Monolith gets 2010 off to a hot start and should in all fairness be in the running for a spot in the top 10 by the end of the year. As far as this reviewer is concerned, In Mourning are the heir apparent's to Opeth's progressive death metal throne. Lofty claims indeed, but the proof is in the Monolith.

36 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Reviewer Pete
    jetfuel495 wrote: DarkValo666 wrote: I don't get it. I've only listened to a few songs on Myspace and I think they're not like Opeth at all. Nevertheless, they are absolutely astounding and I'll definetely get this one.The Opeth influence is a little more obvious in their first album
    Or in their demos. But pleasingly enough, they're starting to sound more and more like "themselves".
    risingsaint
    I never heard of these guys before, but saw this review and decided to check them out on myspace and they are sick. Instantly turned me on to their sound and got me hooked. They get an A+ from me.
    'TallicaRules
    Im gonna check this band out.. esp after Pete's review. his reviews introduced me to a lot of gr8 bands - Baroness, Swallow the sun, BTBAM , Amorphis and so on. 2009 was a very good year for metal and 2010 seems to have started off great.
    PurpleDinosaur
    Been listening since Shrouded Divine came out, and that album was ****ing amazing. When I first got Monolith I was like "eh" but it's since really grown on me and now I think it's better than SD.
    some.will.seek
    I'm loving UG's review at the moment! That is a fair score. Yes, it is a BRILLIANT ALBUM...but, they held back from giving it all 10's. I'd much rather listen to an 8 album...than a 10 album
    duncang
    some.will.seek wrote: I'm loving UG's review at the moment! That is a fair score. Yes, it is a BRILLIANT ALBUM...but, they held back from giving it all 10's. I'd much rather listen to an 8 album...than a 10 album
    Ah, but then when a 10 is given, you know it really counts.
    EpiExplorer
    LAwl, just noticed 'Heir Apparents to Opeths Death Metal throne' For one, Lame pun, and for two, As if. XD
    EpiExplorer
    Tedward wrote: Listened to a few songs, and I'm really diggin them so far! Something about the word Monolith just seems so interesting... anyone else think that too?
    Yeah, its like Opeth but more death orientated than jazz or blues. Still got the odd rythms and what I call 'the Opethelodies' (really odd melodies that somehow work). Its just good in general XD Some of the songs do stretch a bit though, and unlike Opeth, they dont dynamically change it either.
    flemflames
    In Mourning's "Monolith": a lot of recycled Opeth and Porcupine Tree riffs, generic breakdowns, and a robot-drummer with no feeling or groove whatsoever in the potentially-beautiful slow parts. Decent vocals though. Not awful but far from anything special. Just my two cents.
    freddaahh
    oxymorcide wrote: If Monolith is better than 'shrouded divine' it must be incredible....
    And it is. I don't see many albums being better this year.
    Pat_s1t
    Maybe I should check this band out, sounds promising going by this review.
    Ekofu
    Pat_s1t wrote: Maybe I should check this band out, sounds promising going by this review.
    Just bought it, halfway into the second song and I'm already speechless.
    grille
    i loved there first. when i went on there myspace i only heard death-growls. on every song. that sounded like a let down. but its must have anyway
    EpiExplorer
    EpiExplorer wrote: Ekofu wrote: First Ihashn now this? I'm gonna go broke buying CDs.
    Me too.. all we need now is something Opeth related.
    Arkinazz
    I can't stop listening to it. IMO, it blows away Shrouded Devine. Everything is better--the riffs, the drums, the vox. A lot of it is streaming on their myspace right now. Check out the song "The Smoke." It might be my favorite on the album.
    Tedward
    Listened to a few songs, and I'm really diggin them so far! Something about the word Monolith just seems so interesting... anyone else think that too?
    Lion_Slicer
    "In Mourning are the heir apparent s to Opeths progressive death metal throne." Haha I see what you did there. With all the Opeth references being thrown around, looks like this is more than worth a listen.
    KungMagnus
    Cool, these guys actually played at a small place in my town a couple of months ago and they kicked ass for sure. Never thought I'd see them being mentioned on UG
    DarkValo666
    I don't get it. I've only listened to a few songs on Myspace and I think they're not like Opeth at all. Nevertheless, they are absolutely astounding and I'll definetely get this one.
    Thornography
    Too bad it isn't coming out in N.A. for a while still, but nevertheless an amazing album. I'll definitely buy it too.
    kishintai
    I never heard of it. After this post I'll directly check it out because I'm very curious about it.
    Amuro Jay
    DarkValo666 wrote: I don't get it. I've only listened to a few songs on Myspace and I think they're not like Opeth at all. Nevertheless, they are absolutely astounding and I'll definetely get this one.
    The Opeth influence is a little more obvious in their first album
    Jehan'S
    How can you not like their vocals? Their death vocals are just the best i know. Got the cd since its release date and i have barely listened to anything else yet. :p Opeth remains my favorite band but these guys het real f*ing close