"Tetragrammaton" is the 4th full-length studio album by Dutch death metal act The Monolith Deathcult. The album was released through Season of Mist in May 2013. It´s been 5 years since the release of their 3rd full-length studio album "III: Triumvirate (2008)", but The Monolith Deathcult did re-record parts of, remix, and remaster their 2nd full-length studio album "The White Crematorium (2005)" for a 2010 re-release with the title "The White Crematorium 2.0", so they´ve kept themselves busy in the intermediate years.
Stylistically the music on "Tetragrammaton" is technically well played and relatively brutal death metal. That´s the band´s core sound, but they add sci-fi lyrics, samples, keyboards, and industrial ("H.W.A. (Human Wave Attack)" sounds a bit like Ministry with death metal vocals) and groove metal rhythms (check out "Drugs, Thugs & Machetes") to that basis sound, which make their music quite a bit more eclectic than your regular brutal death metal album. These guys are definitely out to test conventions and stretch boundaries.
This is by no means an avant garde type death metal release though, and you´ll still mainly be exposed to brutal growling vocals (only partially intelligible), brutal riffing, and mid-paced- to blast beat rhythms. The keyboards and the samples create an alien sci-fi atmosphere, that you won´t hear on many death metal releases out there, and the industrial and groove metal elements are definitely not "regular" death metal elements either.
The 7 track, 53:49 minutes long album features tracks between 6 and 8 minutes long. While the relatively long track times provide a platform for track development and semi-progressive ideas, the tracks often feel unneccesarily long. There´s no denying that The Monolith Deathcult have many intriguing innovative ideas, but the songwriting could have been a bit more concise for stronger and more immediate impact on the listener.
The album features a professional, powerful, clear, and very detailed sound production, which suits the layered music well. Personally I think the drums sound a bit too digitally processed and the same goes for the vocals, but I´m sure that´s a matter of aquired taste. So all in all "Tetragrammaton" is a strong release by The Monolith Deathcult although I have a few minor issues and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.