ALBUM REVIEW: In Stasis – Monuments

After more than a decade of existence THE MONUMENTS has a reputation for being flawless. They have an unrelenting heaviness to their progressive style, but with their leanings towards melody and perhaps clean vocals and more accessible hooks, they are one of the strongest modern progressive bands. With another line-up change in the singing style of Andy Cizek and return batsman Mike Malianeverything was ready for the fourth triumphant record In stasis.

In stasis is all THE MONUMENTS fans enjoyed their previous work, but it’s clear there’s been a change in the overall method of making this record. The way the songs pull in certain directions is so effective that nothing seems forced. While their previous material has tremendous prowess and musicality, it’s clear that this is not an instrumental record that a song is strung on. Instead, the way the vocals and instrumentals blend together is very fluid and fun.

Having been teased with the likes of lavos last year, the collaboration with Mick Gordon seems to have been subtle and energizing. Throughout the record, the positive influence seems sprinkled in, allowing the band to explore different sounds and styles, giving them permission to mess around and have fun. In stasis feels like THE MONUMENTS have reached a peak of what they can be. Rather than moving forward without looking back, they skillfully manage to integrate the best of their past into what has become their future sound.

There are some absolutely phenomenal moments on this record, like the mesmerizing Cardinal redor Andy CizekThe vocals take on a completely surreal level, shifting and morphing into such varied ranges. Likewise, Opiate has an unusual amount of what could be described as “downtime”, in which the music is given ample time to simmer before going wild again. It is the same The Cimmerianwhere there is no shortage of dynamic and rhythmic changes, and everything that feels to serve the song.

think how ASSEMBLIES have shifted their collaborative mindset to a slightly more fluid way of putting songs together, there’s a clear unity within the band that feels like everyone is not only having fun, but taking in the experience of writing the record as an energizing and healing experience for the band both through personal experiences and through the difficult few years we all endured in the world. It’s a record that feels heavy, but in a cathartic way that’s ready to play and be creative with.

There are so many moments that feel like MOMENTS are truly allowed to breathe on this record; that it all flows in one motion, rather than feeling like a colossal instrument with a song somewhere in it. While THE MONUMENTS have proven themselves as best in class in progressive metal for years, In stasis feels like a new chapter in which the old and the new can coincide in their ranks to form a group greater than the sum of its parts.

Rating: 9/10

In Stasis is set for release on April 15 via Century Media Records.

For more information on MONUMENTS like their official page on Facebook.

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