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Music Review: The Monolith Deathcult – Trivmvirate

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Trivmvirate is Monolith Deathcult's third album, and provides a radical change in their music compared to the previous releases. One of the first distinctions is the longer songs, creating a more epic death metal feel by including a lot of atmosphere through orchestra that is very similar to a band like Nile. However, Monolith Deathcult is far from being a rip off band, as they bring in their own unique sound to the table.

Deathcult's death metal is indeed more orchestral and industrial with Trivmvirate. Starting with the opening track, "Deus Ex Machina" there is an electronic beating backed by a choir. Then the death metal part comes in with the guitars, drumming, and cookie monster growls. Every once in a while the choir and other electronic elements come in- about mid way into the song the vocalist adds a vocoder warble to his growl which makes him sound like a cyborg, which is a very unique effect. The best part is that the orchestral parts are not overdone, or overtake the death metal parts, which makes them all the more appreciated. Good things are best in small doses.

Other tracks like "Wrath of Ba'ath" and "Demigod" also bring a sort of tribal aspect to Monolith Deathcult's work, specifically with the drumming. "Wrath…" opens up with some very impressive chanting, before just hitting at full force upon the listener. The good news is that throughout the track, and the rest of the album even, the music is broken up by either quiet moments involving the orchestra or electronic sampling. This adds what music nuts would define as breathers- after being submerged in so much sound the listener needs to have a break to compose him or herself and give a moment to appreciate the music. If the music just continues to go on in full force, like most death metal bands do, then there are lots of times when the album ends and the listener forgot where it began, and the appreciation is lost in having multiple tracks.

With "Demigod," the key to making this track special is the drums. There is a lot of use of layered drums that create almost a marching band symphony along with the metal. It is so synchronized that it becomes hard to tell whether there are two drummers or if there is a drum recording on top of the other. The middle of the song is the greatest moment for this since the drums are the only instruments that can be heard for a few seconds before the guitars and vocals cut back in. Again, this emphasizes a very tribal, worldly feel into the music to demonstrate the band's influences.

Other features of Trivmvirate include different movie samples of people speaking in the beginning of tracks like "Kindertodesleid" and "M.M.F.D." These kinds of industrial influences are not as amazing as the electronics or vocoder use, but they still add an interesting variety. The production of the entire album is clear and solid, which is always a great aspect of modern death metal. Too many times have bands tried to stay with the gritty, harsh sound that was prevalent in the eighties and early nineties. Times have changed again, and with the use of so many different instruments is becomes important to try to make them each as distinguished as possible. Monolith Deathcult's progression shows the band's potential,their peak, and their calling in Trivmvirate is only just the start of something great to come.

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About ColinM

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    The production of the entire album is clear and solid, which is always a great aspect of modern death metal.

    The major drawback is that the music sounds like it has lost the human feel. A lot of it sounds so mechanized. Somehow in this digital age, the art of recording has lost its depth…But that’s my opinion.

  • Colin

    This is very true… also depends on what kind of music the artist is going for. In this case the industrial aspect demands a sort of “mechanized” sound.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Yea, I can definitely see your point in this case and for any Industrial act in general but, unfortunately, with a lot of the modern Death Metal acts they too rely to heavily on the digital crutch (triggers for the drums,digital effects(VST Plugins) for the guitars) which is the all around studio magic of Pro-Tools to release an overly polished album. This makes even the non-Industrial acts sound mechanical.

    I guess I prefer the “Art of Recording” as opposed to the “Art of Reproduction”. To paraphrase what you said,” You can’t tell if they layer tracks with an actual new recording or just by using samples”.