Monstrosity - _Spiritual Apocalypse_
(Metal Blade, 2007)
by: Jackie Smit (
Pity poor Monstrosity. After overcoming the nigh on insurmountable challenge of replacing a key member in vocalist George Fisher back in 1996, they really haven't been given their dues in quite the way they deserve. They've released albums that were always more than passable, but distinguishing themselves from the expanding quagmire of death metal also-rans has thus far proven to be something of a losing battle. Quite where they got the motivation from to do an album like _Spiritual Apocalypse_ is anybody's guess then, but to find them delivering a record as mature and self-assured as this is certainly a very pleasant surprise indeed.The first ten seconds of opening and title track may be a little too Yngwie Malmsteen for some tastes, but once the brief burst of unnecessarily flash lead guitar has been dispensed of, Monstrosity are all business; the business of melodic death metal to be precise. This isn't just another rehash of Sweden's glory days either -- across the album's ten tracks the Floridian quintet display a depth of songwriting skill that after 2003's _Rise to Power_ will stun more than a few.It's not just the melodies either though. By turns, Monstrosity deliver technical ("Sacred Oblivion"), groovy ("Apostles of the Endless Light") and atmospheric ("The Inhuman Race"); each song bristling with its own individual character. And truly, if that isn't enough to pique the greater metal-listening world's attention, they need to turn up their fucking hearing-aids.
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