22 Sep 2021 - Gene
Melodic Black Metal, Industrial, Avantgarde | Debemur Morti Productions | Release date: 27 Aug 2021
Modern Rites righteously synthesizes metal in a variety of modes, with exceptional taste, all realized and mixed as perfectly as if it’s cake. It’s fucking well done!
Monuments shouldn’t be my kind of thing. It is cold, aggressive, confrontational, raw. The bass drum unrelenting as it pummels the breath from my chest. Is this some kind of Death Metal? Because I don’t get Death Metal. Not qualified to be here. No, this is something else!
Crusty Industrial elements backup melo-bm; thrashy urgency driven by mechanical chugging, lead guitar sweeps and progressive art metal hooks. Lyrics fry-screamed in honed nuances of social injustice. Furious, visceral discourse, but carried on insanely virtuosic charred metal. The vocals in general exceptionally executed. The guitar work, of same, excels. In particular, on “unburdened,” some truly haunting, hollow sustain. Leads cutting through industrial metal harshness.
So by this point I’m loving the record. The intensity somehow ramps up by “Self Synthesis,” really a standout for me - hitting the production, the overall mood, the full statement of Monuments resounding, delivering heavily on the Black Metal screams baton. Swirling guitar and tight, really on-point, natural-sounding drumming, as well as the depth of the bass definitely gives a genre associated with being frigid a welcome warmth, brings the album together as something special.
At some point appears the invariable Zeal And Ardor reference, but realizing the kinship is won, can’t help but just be very into what these guys are doing. Doesn’t even matter, they’re both excellent in their own rites (wink) and, if nothing else, both take Black Metal the places it was meant to go (do I even question whether the project’s name plays on infamous Belgian Black Metallers Ancient Rites?), namely progressive and eminently avant-garde; this is taking familiar genre mores and playing them to more refined whims, producing something novel – but aimed at more socially conscious territories than you might expect, using the language of Black Metal to tell a worthy tale pressing in our time.
The crushing Machine Paradox – the final moments executed to glorious effect rising from certain doom to a brutal swirling finish. Altogether some fabulously apropos moments between thrashy progressive metal and ABM abound, as well on outings like Black Wolf, notabe among the few lengthy industrial, hypnotic, harrowing cuts on the record.
Yeah, this monolith by Modern Rites righteously synthesizes metal in a variety of modes, with exceptional taste, all realized and mixed as perfectly as if it’s cake. It’s fucking well done! I didn’t expect Monuments to be as moving, as brutal, as poignant and galvanizing. Glad I didn’t miss it. Modern Rites blow out the gate with an insanely strong debut. They will be one to watch!