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4.36 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2003


1. Monolithe I (51:58)

Total Time: 51:58


- Richard Loudin / Vocals
- Sylvain Bégot / Guitars, programming
- Benoît Blin / Guitars
- Nicolas Chevrolier / Guitars
- Marc Canlers / Bass

About this release

Appease Me, June 2003

CD Digipack

Thanks to UMUR for the updates


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This was probably the first funeral doom album I heard, and I'll admit, it took me a while to get into. I'm no stranger to slow paced music, but the heaviness, mixed with the fact I still had unprepared eardrums for the heavier side of music meant it took me a solid half year to fully appriechiate this work. But it was worth it, I'll admit. As a fifty two minute journey centered on the creation of the universe, it's ambitious, heavy and powerful. It could have been shorter, yes. But doom, let alone funeral doom, is all about the atmosphere, which this album holds in spades. I've learned that this is quite 'lite' funeral doom in that it deals with less grim concepts and has far more upbeat instrumentation in the form of piano, as well as variations in speed and structure that most doom is not gifted with. As a debut, if you don't mind slow, heavy and simple riffs - cased within a single song structure, and have the patience and time to let it surround and engulf you, then you may have found a fantastic album. If you're not patient, then it's not the album you'll want to hear, but give it a try regardless. You may be very surprised how good it is.
After going through several classic funeral doom metal albums, it's sort of a new experience going back into the embrace of more fine production even though it was the avenue that I used to get into the genre in the first place. So why Monolithe? Well, let's just say that as a person who adores long songs, a 52 minute piece of funeral doom should be right up my alley.

As I start the music, I realize that there's even more. The first notes played are of a piano, but they are not sorrowful sounding like I'm used to experiencing in funeral doom. The music isn't dark at all even when the rest of the instruments come in. In fact, the atmosphere is light sounding! Though with the lyrics about being the origin of mankind, the atmosphere is kinda fitting. It feels as if I'm staring into a portal of infinite light in the middle of a wasteland. Kinda like what's on the album art. 'Monolithe I' is, for once, a funeral doom album that would be just as fitting if listened to during the daytime as it would in the nighttime if not MORE fitting!

There are plenty of variations to be had in the music. Though the tempo stays mostly the same with a steady drum beat, the keyboards play a large role on the "staring into a portal of infinite light" aspect of the music here. Time from time, one of the guitars takes a prominent position. There are even parts where the guitars tone themselves down to allow even calmer parts of the music to come in. Vocal wise, the standard low growls of funeral doom are present, but in the calmer parts of the music, there may be clear spoken word verses spoken. Actually, the musical pauses aren't limited to the guitars. At 18 minute mark, the drums stop and the guitars play some leading notes with the keyboard there to back them up. The guitars keep playing this rhythm as the rest of the instruments continue. At the 28:13 minute mark, the pace changes the most notably with the key changing a bit as well before returning to the same key and pace. As the thirty minute mark comes and goes, the guitars go into a faster chugging rhythm and build up this rhythm for about three minutes until lone piano notes break it up to return to the normal pace with lead notes. The chugging returns around the 38 mark, but with lead guitar to provide some layering. The lead continues when the chugging guitar returns to normal.

At the end of this journey into creation, I look back and see this wonderful funeral doom album by a promising funeral doom band. Its tone is rather unorthodox for the genre, but that's a good thing for funeral doom. If you're a fan of the genre and have 52 minutes to spare in your day, this album/song should be looked into.

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