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Review: Monolithe - Monolithe I
Monolithe I

Label: Debemur Morti Productions
Year released: 2013
Originally released in: 2003
Duration: 51:58
Tracks: 1
Genre: Funeral Doom

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: October 16, 2019
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
Readers Rating
Monolithe I

Rated 4.33/5 (86.67%) (3 Votes)

Starting out as a side project of Anthemon guitarist Sylvain Bégot, Monolithe released four albums of expansive Funeral Doom before going Doom/Death, each one actually being a single 50+ minute song telling part of the story of the origins of man, their rise to a space-faring people, their inevitable extinction, and how they were merely part of an endless cycle of death and rebirth perpetuated by an intelligent universe so it may always exist. If there's a story concept more Doom than that, I don't know what it would be. The first two albums in this series got a reissue with a snazzy new album cover to replace the previous ones, and the first of them comes with a booklet explaining the story and describing some of the band's history.

Anyway, this album is the first part of that story, and it hits that same chord of mystical, encompassing Funeral Doom that really only compares to Ea, only that's a slightly unfair comparison because Monolithe came first. This music on here is generally slow and mournful, as one would expect from this kind of thing, but it comes with an excellent guitar tone, crushing riffs, and some really gorgeous melodic sections that evoke the cold emptiness of space being filled with nebulas and star systems over the course of centuries. The drumming is much more energetic than usual for Funeral Doom, and the vocals are a sparse, murky growl that sound like they're coming from the depths of dark space, which helps to avoid the trap of plodding along in order to artificially make the song longer. That said, there are places where they go on longer than they need to, and their use of reprisal becomes a little too noticeable near the end. Despite a few hiccups, however, this is as fine a slab of highly atmospheric Funeral Doom as has ever been made, and fans of the genre will find a lot to love here.

Other related information on the site
Review: Monolithe II (reviewed by Mjölnir)
Review: Monolithe III (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Monolithe IV (reviewed by Mjölnir)
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