A few night ago I had this really awful, terrifying nightmare where I was isolated in this very tiny room with only a window that was nearly a foot or so wide. The room was no larger than ten feet wide and five feet across. As I peeked out the small window, my eyes captured visions of mayhem, absolute terror and people clinging to anything they could find that was holy. As I woke up in a cold sweat, I could of sworn that someone was watching me. I got up out of bed, placed my feet on the carpet, stood up and walked over to my laptop that was resting on my desk. As I opened my “Metal for the Masses” music folder, I could only think of one thing that resembled my nightmare. That one thing is a band is from Northern California and they play some of the nastiest mixture of Crust, Black and Powerviolence. Say hello to the new Gods of my nightmares, Black Monolith.
I stumbled upon this record while I was browsing some stuff on bandcamp and I knew that from the second “Abandon Heart” started to play, that this record was going to hve to be reviewed. Not knowing much about the band except that they play some really intense tunes and this is the first demo from the outfit, I was really impressed with what I was hearing. When this demo plays I can’t help but think of hallways filled with organized chaos. People burning to death, random priest trying to save a soul before he himself is set ablaze and people trying to throw water on the burning, helpless souls. What the demo provides is a three track, nearly eleven minute hell like atmosphere that might just fill all those voids inside your tortured soul from all the shitty music you’ve been blasting lately. Think of this demo as a revival, a celebration of you being cleansed and baptized by a very wicked, wretched old ghost that has been sitting beside Satan himself for decades.
Black Monolith gives you everything you need, from the screeching yet murderous screams to the drumming that will have you wanting to bash your baby sister in the head with a nail board. The guitar work on this record is what grabbed me by the collar of my shirt though. It has this distortion that you might find in some black metal records but also gives you those ripping crust/powerviolence chords that will put you into a coma, if you aren’t careful. Again, maybe I’m crazy for loving the whole sample production but the one that’s on the last track, “Hedonist”, is very bone chilling. Anytime I hear a woman laugh as if she was having a grand ol’ time then goes on to cry and curse you out for no particular reason, that gives me joy and very dark thoughts are the same time.
I don’t want to make you think this is the best demo in the entire world but I can tell you that it is the best demo I’ve heard thus far in the year 2011. Black Monolith is a force that most won’t fully understand but if you enjoy a good ol’ fashion hurricane just wrecking shop on everything you listen to, give this demo a listen and thank me later.