MONASTERIUM "Cold Are The Graves"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Many bands of the modern day are echoes of what has gone before. The new retro thrash bands are echoes of a greater age. Many new bands are echoes of the old British metal explosion of the late 70's/early 80's. There are already echoes of grunge and nu-metal.

Poland's MONASTERIUM are echoes of CANDLEMASS and other epic doom bands. They don't try to cover it up or deny it. I'll give them extra points for honesty. The spirit of CANDLEMASS hovers over "Cold Are The Graves", right down to Michael Strzelecki's Messiah-like vocals.

This isn't bad if you're hankering for that kind of sound and generally MONASTERIUM do it justice. "The Stigmatic" and "The Great Plague" dolefully plod in true CANDLEMASS fashion, with a Gothic feel. Some tracks like "Cimmeria" and "The Siege" are more forceful and bring a bit of MANILLA ROAD or IRONSWORD to mind. There's plenty of sad acoustic work,too, especially on "Remembered" and the title track.

It works if you are looking for classic doom. But as faithful as MONASTERIUM is, they will always be an echo.