Monotheist are not a band for the faint of heart. They play some of the most technical death metal that I’ve heard (and I have heard a lot) and rarely let the listener up for air. What makes them great is that they have a ton of melody within the brutality, even if that melody comes at you rather quickly at times!
Vocals for their new album “Scourge” are handled by “Shiv” Polachek of 7 Horns 7 Eyes. 7H7E are a great band in their own right but have gone on hiatus so it’s nice that Shiv has a new home for his death growls. One thing about Shiv is that he does tend to sound atonal. Now I know people that hate death vocals think all growls are like that but that’s not the case.
Shiv does vary things a bit from time to time as far as the TYPE of death vocal, from a scream to a more guttural sound. This does add variety for sure. Musically, this album is astounding. The band are not “typical” tech death metal. They lean a bit more toward what bands like Persefone do and it wouldn’t be a huge leap for Monotheist to be an all out prog metal band. There are plenty of classical and jazz oriented moments through out “Scourge” which underscores the band’s talent level.
My favorite tracks are the scalding opener “The Grey King” which sets the tone and mood for the album (it also features Christian Älvestam of Solution .45), the two part “Mark of the Beast” (Part I has beautiful yet haunting strings) and the incredible “Abominable Acts.” The latter is a stomper of a track which has all of the blast beats, blistering guitar runs and insanity that makes Monotheist so dangerous.
Again, if you are more of a prog metal purist, “Scourge” might be too much for you. But if you love extreme metal at its most extreme, then Monotheist would like a moment of your time.
1. The Grey King
2. The Great Chain at the Neck of the Earth
3. Mark of the Beast Pt. 1: The Image
4. Mark of the Beast Pt. 2: Scion of Darkness
5. Infinite Wisdom
6. Desolate It Mourns Before Me
7. Abominable Acts