"The God Album"

By Dr. Abner Mality

This is quite an admirable and ambitious album from a British metal band. Yes, I know the title "The God Album" sets off alarm signals of pretentiousness right away, but look past the initial discomfort and you'll find something a bit different than all the deathcore/metalcore/Pantera knockoff acts flooding the U.S. market.

It's not a Christian metal band...indeed, the main lyrical focus here seems to be against blind faith in invisible beings and for belief in one's self. We have 9 very heavy and well-composed songs combining several diverse sounds into a pleasing whole. There's a definite feeling of the classics like 70's Rush, Floyd, Queensryche and early thrash to Monsterworks but it's mixed with extreme modern death/thrash aggression like Strapping Young Lad and some soothing acoustic touches like the lighter Opeth. Mixed all together we have a unique entity called Monsterworks that can bring the hammer down with absolute ragers such as "Monomythic" and "False Miracle" or create huge epic heaviness like "God" or "Let It Go". "Reprieve" is an acoustic track that is exactly what the name implies. The band often combines the above styles on one track, like the album ending "Hymn of Fire", which actually ends acoustically. The production is excellent and modern but not overly digital...just right for this kind of music.

As for the vocals, well, a lot of them are kind of a shrieky yelp that could be an acquired taste for some, mixed with deep growls and peaceful croons. The shriekiness might be one off putting thing about Monsterworks, but it's not that way all through. All in all, I was quite impressed with "The God Album" and look for more good things from Monsterworks.