Venture Proudly Presents:
Transcontinental metallers MONUMENTS have come a long way since starting as a side project of John Browne (guitars; Fellsilent) and Josh Travis (guitars; The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza). From a surprise appearance on BBC Radio 1 to debut full-length, “Gnosis“”, the group immediately found a fanatic audience. Praised for their brainy yet song-oriented approach to heavy music, MONUMENTS bridged the progressive metal gap like few before. On one side they challenged. “Gnosis“” was full of mind-bending, betcha-can’t-play-this-type passages. On the other side, fans deeply connected to hook-laden songs like “97% Static” and “Empty Vessels”.
Fast forward two productive years later and MONUMENTS - now with Chris Barretto (ex-Periphery, Ever Forthright) on vocals - have grown tremendously. While they’re still way into instrumental gymnastics and impressing fans with their musical prowess, they’ve really honed in on writing huge, impossibly memorable songs for new album, “The Amanuensis”. Like bigger, badder, and even more epic-than-before type stuff. If “97% Static” and “Empty Vessels” stuck to the brain, new songs like “I, Creator”, “The Alchemist”, and “Origin of Escape” hit the head, body, and mind hard. “I really like the chorus of ‘The Alchemist’,” guitarist John Browne smiles. “It’s really simplistic, but I think that part will sound big and open when we play it live. I also dig the ending of ‘I, The Destroyer’. I can’t really focus on one part or song. All of the songs I’m happy with how they all turned out.”
“The Amanuensis” is a complete experience, actually. Even Browne’s mom is impressed: “I know my mum will blast this out of her car like she did with ‘Gnosis’. She loves groove.”
If one thing’s certain about MONUMENTS and Browne in 2014 they’re keen to move away from needless classification with “The Amanuensis”. They’re specifically referring to their tenuous association with the djent movement. “Music is music,” Browne says. “It has the same 12 notes as any other music. The only difference is the way it’s expressed, so we use pretty silly words to try and explain the sound. The word ‘djent’ makes no sense whatsoever to describe a genre. The tone that it references isn’t really utilized by many bands that are classed as it. I feel progressive metal is a much better reference to our music, with a huge dose of groove.”
“The Amanuensis”, at least the title, was inspired by author David Mitchell’s novel, “Cloud Atlas”. The complex story lines are the perfect analog for MONUMENTS. Musically, the group weave in and out of themes, motifs, and professor-like note calculations with graceful ease. But lyrically “The Amanuensis” comes from a very different place. “The album is about the Samsara cycle,” reveals Browne. “The cyclical existence of life that we are all bound to. Chris has written an entire story around the lyrics. Maybe that will see the light one day! It's the story of Samsara.”
Recorded at Monnow Valley Studio (Black Sabbath, Rush, Led Zeppelin) in Wales, Audiohammer Studios (The Black Dahlia Murder, The Contortionist) in Florida, and Browne’s own studio Bear Noize Studio in England, “The Amanuensis” is powerful and clear. A resolute sonic statement. But the group’s sophomore album is also the most stripped down production in MONUMENTS’ history. By design the drum triggers and studio trickery are gone. “Metal has lost the ‘live’ element of production,” Browne admits. “All bands sound too perfect. And albums aren’t really a true representation of what the bands actually sound like in a live setting. We wanted to give everyone what we actually sound like, with us actually playing the instruments. The final result is great!”
With a new vocalist - Browne calls Barretto “A musician. It’s really easy to bounce ideas off of him.” - and a new album in “The Amanuensis”, MONUMENTS are taking progressive metal to the next level. The group’s ardent fanbase are sure to adore “Atlas”, “Garden of Sankhara”, and massively cool “Quasimodo”. “Hopefully they feel like they had the journey that was intended. It’s a pretty relentless record, but with some huge vocal hooks. We’re hoping this album will get stuck in peoples’ heads. It was a lot of fun to write.”
"A.W.O.L.", a new song from the British progressive metal band MONUMENTS, can be streamed below. The track is taken from the group's long-awaited third album, "Phronesis", which will be released on October 5 via Century Media Records.
"The word 'Phronesis' was a big part of society and philosophy in ancient Greece", explains MONUMENTS. "Phronesis is wisdom, but a really specific type of wisdom to do with oneself. Wisdom on your practical actions, good judgement, being excellent in character, practical wisdom. Learning what to do and what not to do based on experience, being mindful of everything around you. Something that, at times, all of us can be pretty terrible at."
After touring the world heavily in support of its "The Amanuensis" album (2014), the intercontinental quintet needed to take a break and catch a breath for multiple reasons. However, the band kept working on "Phronesis".
"My personal relationship with the meaning of the record starts at 'Stygian Blue', which was the second song I wrote for this back in 2015, and it came to be while I was in the darkest place I've ever been in my 32 years", says guitarist John Browne. "We all had a bunch of issues that needed time to let heal so, in between writing we were, you know, fixing our broken souls."
Writing about topics that would be troubling their minds acted as a catharsis though, so "Phronesis" works as a turning point of the progressive metal band on many levels. The independently produced album was finally recorded between March and July of 2018 in various studios throughout the world: while guitars and bass were recorded by Jim Pinder (BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, MACHINE HEAD, WHILE SHE SLEEPS) at Treehouse Studios in Derbyshire, U.K., the drums were played, recorded, tracked and engineered by Anup Sastry (ex-SKYHARBOR). Chris Barretto recorded his vocals with Cristian Machado (ILL NIŇO, LEEWAY) at Soundwars Studios in New Jersey, then everything was mixed and mastered by Joel Wanasek at JTW Music in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
"Phronesis" is available as standard CD jewelcase, gatefold LP+CD and digital album.
The track listing reads as follows:
02. Hollow King
04. Mirror Image
06. Stygian Blue
10. The Watch
Chris Barretto - Vocals
John Browne - Guitar
Olly Steele - Guitar
Adam Swan - Bass
Daniel "Lango" Lang - Drums
B A I L E R
Heavy Irish metallic hardcore quartet BAILER take no prisoners with their brand new self-titled EP, which was released on 9th February 2018. Following on from 2017’s PTSD and 2016’s Shaped By The Landscape, BAILER is an ambitious collection of tracks that showcase a band who have truly discovered their sound.
Returning to work with Murdock’s Aidan Cunningham, BAILER is relentless from the get-go as the merciless ‘Lying For A Living’ brings the listener up to speed in a riotous fashion, while the likes of ‘Tuesday Blues’ and ‘Death Is A Reminder’ take a filthier route, hinting influences of Cancer Bats. Since forming in 2015 BAILER have pricked the ears of many other musicians, with some familiar faces lending their vocals to this latest EP. Adam Carroll of Zoax, Xander Coughlan of Worn Out, and Kevin ‘Lefty’ Letford of Red Enemy all feature, adding their own slice of character to the record.
With a small discography the four-piece have impressively garnered attention from Metal Hammer, Kerrang!, Metal Injection and That's Not Metal, an achievement that is no mean feat for a band so early into their career. BAILER have spent their short time as a band building up a strong reputation in their home ground, having played shows alongside Norma Jean, Sick Of It All, Employed To Serve, Heck and more. 2018 will be the year that the quartet mark their territory further afield, with a tour of Russia already under their belt as well as more shows in the pipeline.
A musical journey into the mind in pursuit of happiness, set to a mix of 70's progressive rock, modern day electronica, industrial and extreme metal, topped off with clear, beautiful vocal lines: that's what young Copenhagen quartet VOLA is offering on their debut album Inmazes, out on Mascot Records on 2LP, CD and Digitally, September 16.
General Admission: €20.00 incl. booking fee