Ritual Exhumation (EP)

Written by: EW on 14/07/2014 23:17:31

Here with a desire to further the cause of old-school orientated death metal are Monumentomb, an act from southern England who on their debut EP “Ritual Exhumation” merge a combination of hard-hitting riffs with a knowing nod of melodic accessibility to help the 28 minute 6 song release go down as easily as an ice cream in hell. Your response to this overview will largely depend on a personal tolerance to neatly produced death metal with such a bright, melodic twist as Monumentomb are prone to sounding rather dated at times, too much like the kind of acts that filled the support slots at gigs around the mid-2000s rather than Dismember, Carnage, Sodom etc they care to sound akin to. True, not all their soundalikes could be categorised as pure support material as I’m getting a good deal of God Dethroned in the title track and “In the Crypt Devoured” while the lead riff to “Perpetual Execution Torment” has a solid The Haunted vibe but there is certainly none of the physical brutality or lacerating sharpness that I was expecting given the involvement of guitarist Byron Braidwood from Spearhead, a British DM act hardly known for their restraint.

The opening untitled introduction of a tolling bell and sound FX straight from the catalogue book for extreme metal bands hardly conjures any fear, but it does lead nicely into the punchy start to “Ritual Exhumation”. The meat of each 4/4 bar is generally a forceful one but their enclosure in the dexterous, melodic neck work of Braidwood and rhythm guitarist Alex Brown is the band’s signature and the defining aspect of the EP. Despite this it goes a long way to diminishing any scent of serious malice along with the tapered guitar production and unchallenging drum beats make closing track “Citadel of the Living Dead” as much a Scandi-thrash number featuring gruff vocals and well constructed solos as anything approaching death metal. My lasting thought is that with this style of DM hardly in vogue at present Monumentomb might have a challenge making any serious headway though equally their comparative accessibility against the likes of Grave Miasma and Cruciamentum could be beneficial. Well constructed, a solid start but more identity and darkness wouldn’t go amiss.


Download: Citadel of the Living Dead, Perennial Interment
For The Fans Of: God Dethroned, Legion of the Damned
Listen: Facebook

Release date 07.02.2014

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