fragment. - _monolith_
(Cuckold Productions, 2008)
by: Andreas Marouchos (7 out of 10)
This aptly titled album is what I would describe as the ideal lights-out / earphones-out only experience. Heck, even while actively trying to scribble some lines on the music, I often found myself inexplicably drawn into its drifting imagery in an almost hypnotic manner -- not a casual listen indeed.

_monolith_ meanders somewhere in the no-man's land between doom/drone and shoegaze; a daring (not necessarily experimental) but rewarding musical endeavour. The repetitive if not dragging and particularly long, non-cumulative song development effectively pull the sound's melancholic demeanour at a marginal distance from post-rock territory. However, the syrupy melodicism that makes its subtle appearance in the compositions gracefully tips its hat to Mogwai et al. Taking cues from the mighty Jesu, textures are permeated with reverberating washes of shoegaze-inspired fuzziness which provide a thick backdrop for the guitar lines to unfold freely. Vocals become enmeshed with the harmonically dense layers of sound upon sound and so become inseparable as the notes writhe with mind-lulling resonance. The embellishing counterpoint of synths also adds a further dimension to the entrancing soundscapes.

In general terms, it's a musical journey that sidesteps banality with confident strides thanks to its firm foundations, but stops short before becoming all too creatively intransigent. Personally, I've never been the biggest fan of this sort of music and its ilk, but the serene magnetism that this certain release carries definitely warrants further re-visits into its strangely appealing world.


(article published 11/5/2008)

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