Monstrosity - _Rise to Power_
(Conquest Music, 2003)
by: Brian Meloon (6 out of 10)
Monstrosity's latest studio offering is on the surface similar to their previous death metal opus _In Dark Purity_, but I found it rather uninspired. Their style remains largely unchanged: it's still a riff-heavy brand of death metal featuring both power chord-based riffs and individual note lines, harmonized guitar parts, growled vocals, fast double bass drumming and blast beats. However, in comparison to _In Dark Purity_, this album has a more brutal production, with the guitars losing their sharp edge and taking a more blunt tone. They occasionally step outside this style, such as the Death-ish instrumental "The Fall of Eden" and the Marty Friedman-inspired guitar solos, but for the most part the album is consistent in style.

The playing is tight, competent and occasionally pretty technical, while the guitar solos are just average. The vocals are neither particularly interesting nor original, but they don't really detract from the music. Unfortunately, the songs are just average. The riffs are pretty predictable and the song structures don't do anything to help make them interesting. None of the songs are very memorable and in the end, they offer nothing new to the genre. One final disappointment is the album's closer, "Shadow of Obliteration", which ends with over six minutes of guitar screams and bombs -- similar to those at the end of Cacophony's "Speed Metal Symphony" -- followed by over two minutes of a repeated sample that sounds something like a car alarm. It's a pointless display of wankery that epitomizes the album's lack of vision.

Ultimately, this is a competent release but nothing special. I really can't think of any reason that a death metal fan would hate it, but on the other hand I can't think of any reason why said fan wouldn't already have ten albums just like it.

Contact: Monstrosity P.O. Box 1343 Englewood, Florida 34295-1343

(article published 7/6/2004)

4/5/2007 J Smit 8.5 Monstrosity - Spiritual Apocalypse
11/20/2000 A Wee 9 Monstrosity - In Dark Purity
2/4/1997 A Wasylyk 7 Monstrosity - Millennium
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