Band website: http://www.beholdthemonolith.com/
Matt Price – Guitars
Jordan Nalley – Vocals
Jason “Cas” Casanova – Bass
Chase Manhattan – Drums
1. Umbral Vale
2. Philosopher’s Blade
3. The Mithriditist
4. Lord of Bones
5. Black Days Of…
6. Between Oder and the Vistula
7. Architects of the Void
Architects Of The Void opens in an almost weary fashion. ‘Umbral Vale’ is a so slow, so heavy doom number, it feels like the band can barely summon the energy to continue, there’s something quite draining about it. And maybe that’s exactly spot on. See, this is album three for the LA progressive sludge/doom lot and it comes after the tragic death of vocalist/bassist Kevin McDade. So if any of Architects Of The Void is cathartic, a reflection of their mind-sets, well it’s not surprising.
Now a four piece, having enlisted Jordan Nalley on vocals and Sasquatch’s Jason Casanova on bass, Behold! The Monolith are coming back in a strong way. The whole album is tinged with dark feeling, coloured by events prior to recording, none so more on ‘Lord Of Bones’, which presses down on your with up until the guitars come in to lift it at the end.
‘Philosopher’s Blade’ and ‘Between Oder and the Vistula’ both jack in any notion of genre boundaries, with the former going from Down-esque riffs to thrash metal sprees. The latter is up there with the best Architect Of The Void has to offer, quick-fire thrash-punk opening build to slower groove sections and then back again, with occasional evocative guitar flourishes. Nalley’s vocals are the right kind of harsh, like some with something to feel, and he manages a good range right down to the deep end, although the clean side is not so strong.
The three little dots at the end of ‘Black Days Of…’s name kind of hang over the whole song, it’s an instrumental, fill in the blanks type of affair. At 14 minutes long the title track seems in its rightful place as closer. Too early on and there’s a risk that those with shorter attention spans might skip by. It’s seriously unhurried and in that sense takes on a tense feel by the almost halfway point, which suddenly dissipates with the arrival of the warmer second half riff.
There’s not a lot by way of coherence on Architects Of The Void, aside from that bleak feel – every song is its own beast and it just so happens that they’re penned up together. But it’s interesting and it’s challenging if you enjoy being pulled in different directions. Although depending on your tastes you may find yourself disappointed by some of those changes. On the whole though Behold! The Monolith are the architects of something pretty good here.