The French Monolithe have been for several years a rather appreciated name, in the funeral doom sphere, thanks to the two eponymous records released in the first part of the last decade; after the release of the ep Interlude Premier and a five-year silence, interrupted by a new ep, this third long-distance episode offers us a band animated by a newfound inspiration, which pushes it well beyond the boundaries of the genre while not detracting from its peculiar characteristics. Clearly, the sonic coordinates linked to a powerful and slowed-down sound are always well evident, but the innovative element can be found in the stylistic and rhythmic variety that marks the work throughout its abundant fifty munits, moreover concentrated in a single track. In this regard, it arises spontaneously to draw a parallel with another funeral band that this year released a record marked by a single long track, namely Ea, but it quickly becomes apparent that the two interpretations of the subject matter are quite distant. While on the one hand the mysterious band continues undaunted in unrolling with the utmost slowness a sound centered on majestic keyboards and lead guitars always ready to sketch astonishing passages imbued with melancholy, on the other hand the four transalpine musicians give their long composition a dynamism that contrasts with the uniformity that, while constituting a positive aspect, is a characteristic trait of the genre. Monolithe III encompasses psychedelic and symphonic moments that, amalgamated with the classic heaviness of doom and the perfect growl of Richard Loudin (author a decade ago with his solo project Despond of the splendid Supreme Funeral Oration), allow the listener to enjoy without particular effort a sonic monolith of such magnitude; the entire track never seems to suffer from moments of fatigue but rather, stretches out in a slow but progressive crescendo that stops only with the last note recorded by the Parisian band. An evolution in some ways unexpected but highlighted in the best possible way by Sylvain Bégot and co. thanks to an album that rightfully ranks among the best releases of this prolific 2012.

2012 – Debemur Morti Productions