Album: Behold! the Monolith, Defender, Redeemist
Label: Self-Released
Release: January 24, 2012

1. Guardian’s Procession
2. Halv King
3. Desolizator
4. Redeemist
5. We Are the Worm
6. Witch Hunt Supreme
7. Cast on the Black/Lamentor/Guided by the Southern Cross
8. Bull Colossi

Defender, Redeemist is one of those rare albums where saying “holy fuck” truly conveys the feeling behind the album. Behold! The Monolith’s 2009 self-titled album was one of the first metal reviews I completed for Popdose and also one of the first for the site that I truly loved. But holy fuck do they improve upon any of the flaws of the first disc.

The debut was heavy as hell but had moments that wandered off aimlessly with no hope of return. Well, they’ve returned and they’re cracking skulls this time around. Behold! The Monolith play fierce stoner metal mixed with doom, thrash and a little spacey atmosphere for effect. One listen to the opening minute of “Witch Hunt Supreme” will clue you in to the skill level of the musicians here with crazy riffing that falls in the Mastodon territory, followed by sprawling stoner doom not unlike High on Fire.

While there’s no title as cool as “Battle For Balls Deep” like there was on the debut, they do have more epic tunes like the 11 minute “Redeemist” and the 14 minute ridiculously righteous three part gem, “Cast on the Black/Lamentor/Guided by the Southern Cross.” The latter begins with the darkest piece they’ve ever done, almost entering the realm of black metal. It eventually turns acoustic for a quick moment before firing up some of the most bone-chilling screams you’ve heard on a stoner record in a long while. And then it ends with a more tradition doom sound complete with rippin’ guitar solo. But the track that really stands out on Defender, Redeemist is “Halv King” which is simply a fierce, kind of groovy headbanger.

I’m glad to see these guys progress even more from a great first disc to a superb second try. Catch ’em now as they are bound to make a name for themselves soon if they continue evolving like this.

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About the Author

Dave Steed

Dave Steed is all about music; 80's and metal to be exact. His iPod will shuffle from Culture Club to Slayer and he won't blink an eye. He's never heard Astral Weeks but thinks "Dazzey Duks" by Duice is the bomb. It's an odd little corner of the world he lives in.

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