You hear about it fairly often it seems within the metal community. Band heads into the recording studio. Lead singer bails or decides to head in another direction for one reason or another leaving said band without a lead growler. Sometimes, the band is lucky enough to be able to rotate their line-up to accommodate the sudden departure. Other times, as in the case with Nominon, the band calls up a couple of buddies who just happen to head up General Surgery or used to growl for Insision (Erik Sahlstrom and Johan Thjornberg, respectively). Hell, the guys even got producer Tore Stjerna to belt out a song.
Now, there isn’t a huge difference between the three vocalists that appear on Monumentomb, but there are subtleties that come out on a track by track basis. Overall, however, the vocal variances work out for the better, melding well with the band’s ferocious Swedish death metal attack. The guitars are thick and chunky with just the right amount of texture to capture the right sound. The rhythm section is unrelenting, chasing you down like an avalanche of stone and rock. Throw in a few sick leads, and you’ve got yourself a pretty damn good death metal album.
The opening track for Monumentomb is an absolutely fierce song. “Mantra Reverse” starts off with a wretched scream and manic drum work, immediately setting the tone for the remainder of the album. The vocals for this song are relatively deep and aggressive, fitting the maniacal pace perfectly. You also know when a band’s hit that old school sound just right. This is one of those songs.
I love the opening riff for this next track. It’s got that classic Swedish death metal vibe to it. Here’s another track that’s unrelenting in nature and down right evil. There’s all sorts of guitar goodness that peppers the song from riffs to creative hooks. The vocals on the previous song and this one sound as though they are from the same growler. I love the frenetic explosion a few moments before the two minute mark.
I’m not entirely certain which vocalist is growling on which track, but it does appear that the album’s producer contributed the lead growls and barks to “Undead Beast.” Overall, the vocals are fairly similar to the first two tracks, but the delivery is a bit raspier. Regardless, it’s still a shredding, pummeling song that will leave your neck sore after some serious head banging. The lead around 2:40 has a bit of a rock vibe as the moshing riffs fill the background.
Mmmm… Kevorkian… I do love me some assisted suicide. Ok, there’s definitely a new vocalist on this track. The growls are much deeper with a more guttural feel. The track itself is a chugging monolith with thick riffs and an overall slower rhythm, though there are some nice explosions of activity here and there. It’s a dark song to say the least.
After the slower paced “Kevorkian Exit,” the guys get back down to business with driving riffs and bestial drums on “Omen.” It sounds as though the singer from the previous song is also the dominant vocal presence on this next one. There’s a lot more of a staggered feel to the guitars and overall nature of this ripping song. It’s frenetic, very active and aggressive. The lead at 2:44 is pretty damned sick.
Mountain of Hate
“Mountain of Hate” is without a doubt one of the better tracks on the album. It’s a fiercely delivered beast of a song. The vocals are violent and aggressive as the thrashing riffs fill the air along with absolutely pile driving drums. The first vocalist on the album appears to be back for the remaining tracks, as well. There’s a twinge of melody that weaves in and out of the riffs and manic drumming. A soaring lead appears around the 2:30 mark and lasts a good long while.
“Worm” is a chock full of slithering riffs that will burrow deep into your brain, eating away at the charred bong resin that stains the inner walls of your cranial cavity while the bludgeoning rhythms pulverize you to sleep. This is a pretty aggressive death n’ roll type song that’s catchy and has a decent groove to head bang along with. There’s some devastating drum work toward the latter half of the song that shouldn’t be missed.
Thick guitars and steady drums get this next song off to a fairly benign start as the growls come in. The overall vibe to the track is a bit slower, yet still retains a solid measure of darkness and subtle melodies. It’s probably the weakest song for me on the album as it’s just a bit to hard to get into the staggered tempo shifts.
Wrath of Shiva
“Wrath of Shiva” wraps up the album with an infectious groove that will have you head banging along in no time. The vocals are deep and guttural, matching the measured pace quite well. This is another outstanding effort from Nominon that’s got more than enough variation in tempo and overall sound to keep you fully entertained, despite the more methodical delivery the song seems to present. It’s one of the stronger album closers I’ve heard this year so far.
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