What originally started as a collaboration between members of the now gone Fellsilent and soon to be gone Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, Monuments has now become the brainchild of ex-Fellsilent Englishman guitarist John Browne and a new lineup of talent. Through the serious lineup changes and complications, John Browne has grown as an artist and it really shows through most of the bands debut album. “Gnosis” was released not too long ago across Europe but American metalheads will have to wait until September 25th to get their hands on a physical copy. I was originally planning on doing this review in September but when the band put up a stream of the entire album online, I eventually found it hard to resist. Listeners should except to hear the dangerous complexities of Meshuggah/SikTh style groovy off-time riffs and drumming (provided by the ridiculous Mike Maylan), tight jagged edged riffs, interesting use of melody, the soaring vocals of new addition Matt Rose (replacing Fellsilent’s Neema Askari), and heaps of awesomeness.

The changes since the debut 2010 EP “We Are The Foundation” are apparent and really show the direction this band is headed in. Reworked versions of “Admit Defeat” and “The Uncollective” have been added to the track list showing the variation of the two releases. The new version of “The Uncollective” crushes the last in my opinion but I have mixed feelings about “Admit Defeat” as I have a soft spot for the “We Are The Foundation” version.

EP aside, this debut full length is a solid release. There are plenty of tracks to grab your attention. My personal favorites would have to be “97% Static”, “Doxa”, “Blue Sky Thinking”, “Degenerate”, “Regenerate”, and “Denial”. “97% Static” opens with such a sweet groove which really sets the tone for a good bit of the song. This likely fan favorite has a music video which will be released very soon. “Doxa” was the first song released off this record and for good reason as it gives you an idea of what to expect. This song is a display of well constructed heaviness. “Blue Sky Thinking” has a HUGE chorus from Matt Rose that gets stuck in my head very easily. And I can relate to his lack of faith in the human race (no offense guys). The music behind the vocals is very well thought out, providing groovy heaviness to compliment the overall nature of the song. “Degenerate” is a vicious, anger filled track which hits hard everytime. “Regenerate” is one of the best on the record. From it’s eerie groove of a beginning to it’s strong closure, this is a stand out track. “Denial” is special because it opens with a powerful Spencer Sotelo (Periphery) cameo which really sets the mood for the album’s ender. Matt Rose picks up nicely where Spencer leaves off and the band carries out the album with strength.

However, parts of this album don’t shine as brightly. “Empty Vessels Make the Most Noise” is a good song but it has a slow, boring breakdown that almost seems to go against the nature and talent level of this band. Other parts may feel monotonous or done before. You almost get the vibe that Monuments was late to the “djent” party or something.. Also, the clean picking style which is used heavily on “Gnosis” is very similar to Tesseract but it still sounds good. These are my only real criticisms of this otherwise great record.

Whether you can already grab the album over in Europe or you’re in a part of the world that still has to wait, I recommend giving this album a listen. If you like it, you should definitely add this one to your collection. Not only does it have good music, it has awesome artwork. And you can never go wrong with awesome artwork.

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