Monkeypriest - _Defending the Tree_
by: Daniel Cairns (4.5 out of 5)
To cut a long story short, Monkeypriest are a Spanish doom metal band, and they're the shit. Theirs is a brand of sludge influenced as much by Goatsnake as it is by Eyehategod. Riffs sound huge, vocals are garbled and spat out like Mike D Williams, and the drums are slow and massive. No, it isn't at all original, but when you're making music this good, that doesn't matter. Four songs, twenty five minutes, and no filler. Every song rocks like a stoned megalith bastard.

Normally I like to go into some shitty long winded reason why they're good and where they can improve, but I seriously can't think of much wrong with the record. It's pretty much a perfect encapsulation of what makes doom such an ace form of music. Low slung, dynamic riffs are the order of the day, and you can't go far wrong with them, can you? There are some really well done tempo changes as well. Normally tempo changes can sound a bit forced in this sort of music, but Monkeypriest make them sound instinctive and easily done. The production is maybe a teensy bit weedy, and doesn't quite capture the noise they're doubtless capable of unleashing in a live setting, but complaining about the production on a demo is like kicking a cow for having udders.

Oh, there's one grievance though. The name. It really doesn't evoke a sense of doom or dread, does it? If a monkey came up to you wearing a cassock, you'd laugh more than anything. Then again, I've never been able to come up with a decent name for any band I've played with, so I should probably shut my face.

Doomy people everywhere, you must check out Monkeypriest. They evoke all that is good about the genre, and surely have a bright (or should that be gloomy?) future ahead.

The nature of monkey is irrepressible.


(article published 5/7/2009)

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