Review: Doomed – 'Wrath Monolith'

Doom metal releases need a certain something to stand out from the masses and get my attention, but ‘Wrath Monolith’, the third full length from German doom/death project Doomed has done just that. They are a doom/death band with a very progressive, hugely atmospheric and decidedly avant-garde interpretation of a genre that can sometimes be lacking, but rest assured there’s nothing lacking here.

This fourth album from the project, which is singlehandedly masterminded by Pierre Laube (responsible for instruments, vocals, lyrics, and programming, as well as concepts, artwork and production), and follows in the same style as the previous Doomed works. For this release, he has also enlisted guest vocalists and musicians including; Johan Ericson (Doom: VS), Ed Warby (The 11th Hour) Pim Blankenstein (Officium Triste), Anny Bauermeister, Andreas Kaufmann (Hatespawn), Grimo (Cytotoxin) and Yves Laube (Doomed Live Crew).

The concept of this album is, “The consideration of the crisis of the modern world, with its conflicts and human sins, forcing those concerned to reconsider the understanding of society and to seek ways out of this situation. Solution to all problems is on top of the Monolith. Monolith is growing every day, so it is impossible to reach the top…

It’s a six track offering, spanning fifty minutes, and opens with ‘Paradoxon’ on a haunting, dark and plodding, extended piano opener, the theme of which continues as the vocals and instrumentation kick in, but with a crushing effect as ground-shaking growls, accompanied by higher vitriolic shrieks, add a superbly oppressive edge. The mood and rhythm changes midway, an essential factor in a track of over twelve minutes duration, and when the original rhythms return, the track evolves to a more death metal feel, the pace elevating, along with the vocals, which have a good range, intonation and inflection, which adds such a lot to the overall mental picture.

On ‘Our Ruin Silhouettes’ you get discordant bells and “bendy” hypnotic riffs, which contrast so well against the deep vocals, along with punchy percussion. This is completed by excellent lead work in the second half.

‘Euphoria’s End’, has excellent ominous sounding percussion, along with spoken vocals, and builds and evolves from the hauntingly reflective, almost funereal, into a track that becomes more crushing and brutal as it progresses, with the introduction of more death metal elements, but it’s a slow, gradual build, that practically sneaks up on you. The latter part lead work also has a slight progressive leaning , with the doom element returning towards the close .

The cries of crows accompany a heavy-as-hell intro on ‘The Triumph-Spit’, emanating from pounding but “bendy” bass work. This sits well alongside the higher melody and brutal vocals, giving the first half of the track a very doom-rich atmosphere that has a superb depth, enhanced by choral elements, and yet more crow sound-bites. It’s also a superbly constructed track that is full of surprises. Midway through the second half, all doom is tossed aside, for a manic tempo shift to that of a death metal orientated one, with suitably snarling vocals.

‘Looking Back’ features guest appearances Johan Ericson of Doom:VS, and Ed Warby, and there is a defined, unnerving feel to this track, coming from the haunting guitars and deep, rich growls. The track also features clean singing, the style of which adds a dramatic and eerie edge to this rather evocative track, and works well in context.

Final track, ‘I’m Climbing’, has a combination of pummelling, repeat riffs, along with the broad range of vocals; screams, snarls and growls, followed by a second half drift into an atmospheric drop away, with random off-kilter piano work, that is haunting and intriguing all the way to the close, and just leaves you pondering …….

‘Wrath Monolith’ is out now on Solitude Productions and the first 100 copies of the album come as a strictly limited edition digipack!

Review: Jools Green

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