Monsterworks – Album of Man

MonsterworksImmersing oneself in the more dreary sides of this Metal will always be a labor of love here at Worm Gear, but every once in a while this writer must come up for air, especially when the snows continue to fall in mid-April ‘Up Here’. Enter Monsterworks Album of Man, an overtly melodic genre concoction that takes the rise, acceptance, and failure of religion to task as its central concept, and wraps this philosophical diatribe in warping song structures that stride back and forth between straight Metal, folk, smatterings of Death Metal, and light flecks of ’70s prog. Vocals stride the line between rock influence and mid-Eighties Metal Church-esque screaming that would make the mighty David Wayne (R.I.P.) grin from beyond the grave. The pitch singing accompanying the thrashy vocal mostly succeeds, though at times can grate when higher registers are striven for. Minor gripes, as the label-defying nature of Monsterworks’ music squarely plants you in a seat at an open mic; one minute you’re watching Bruce Franklin and Rick Wartell of Trouble trade leads, then Jerry Cantrell steps up with his whale-sound blues bends, then an unnamed, nylon-stringed guitar classical twanger takes a turn, all while a jazz drummer with a decidedly Metal influence plies the percussive background. Still, do not consider Album of Man an effort of technical wizardry; as colorful as each song’s construction is, these are indeed songs in the true sense of the word, not amalgams of wankery. On each track, Monsterworks earn the right to their brazen name by breaking down all their influences and reforming them into their own brand of sharpened steel. And the intent of said steel is best summed up in Monsterworks own words, proclaimed loudly in ‘Free Will’: Every creed that ever was, has nothing to hide behind. All faiths will dissolve, in the passages of time.

Most days, those of our ilk embrace the cold, but sometimes we just want to ward the winds off. At those times, one can reach for records like Album of Man, for – like it or not – our emotional experience varies in hue from the brightest white to the blackest black, as these brief days of ours dance unbidden across that pain-ridden palette. -Jim

Mortal Music

~ by cliftonium on April 10, 2013.

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