Meshuggah better watch their collective backs because a whole new breed of technical metal is out to get them. The latest djent worshipers to spring up is the UK’s Monuments with their Century Media debut, Gnosis. Labelmates Stealing Axion (Read our review here) may go for the skies in terms of grand ideas, but Monuments goes for the throat from start to finish. While they add atmosphere to everything they do, in essence there is no filler and no letting up. Gnosis is pure, unbridled metal. For every “97% Static”, there is an “Empty Vessels Make The Most Noise” waiting in the wings to decimate ear drums.

Beginning with “Admit Defeat”, the Meshuggah monolith is out in full force but the melody is what sets Monuments apart from their peers with a Middle Eastern-tinged chorus that brings some refreshing color to the technical ferocity. “Degenerate” on the other hand is pure riff raging ferocity which suits Monuments just fine. “Doxa” has these guitar lines that are just inhuman in their precision. Elsewhere, vocalist Matt Rose shows off his chops on “The Uncollective” as he goes to Dickinson-ian highs and again on “97% Static” adding depth to the brutality. “97% Static” especially is just this monster with the heaviness while incredibly sweet with these lush melodies that drift in and out until the powerful tribal end.

If that wasn’t your cup of Monuments tea, then “Regenerate” and closer “Denial” up the metal ante considerably to end Gnosis. “Regenerate” begins eerily enough and gradually becomes more menacing as the song progresses while “Denial” on the other hand comes out intensely before bringing back some of that mysticism from “Admit Defeat”.

Gnosis is available now from Century Media. Go here to get yours.

Grade: A



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