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Performer Notes
  • Like the first song title says, you may as well "Admit Defeat" -- djent is here to stay, and London's Monuments are but the latest disciples to see God in Meshuggah, if their 2012 debut for Century Media, Gnosis, is any indication. Now, the somewhat novel twist in Monuments' interpretation of the style is the use of mallcore-inspired voices -- a sign they grew up on emo and screamo (maybe even a little nu-metal) as well as Meshuggah. As a result, vocals alternately soar piercingly melodic above, dribble rap-like off the surface, or crumble down gutturally into the detuned riffage forming the igneous foundation of these tracks. Also helping to lend some distinction to the young band's efforts are intermittent serene passages that showcase liquid guitar solos, yearning melodic patterns, or slap-slapping basslines amidst the surrounding din (see "Degenerate," "97% Static," "Empty Vessels Make the Most Noise," etc.) -- at least until they resurface for the sixth or seventh time. And any way you slice it, the resulting contradictions and dubious musical motivations may leave Gnosis dangling helplessly between the realms of progressive ingenuity and commercial accessibility; one can only guess as to whether this duality will result in broader success or double dismissal of the band by both audience groups. Whatever the outcome, fellow djent believers will likely find several breaths of fresh air scattered across Gnosis' otherwise predictable, suffocating forcefulness, and that small victory could help assuage the original admission of defeat in this review. Hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
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