Monuments – The December Sessions

“A Monument Itself”


Monuments is a black/doom metal band from Netherlands, and they were formed in 2012, and “The December Sessions” is their first piece of material to hit the streets. The band is forged together by five musicians from different musical backgrounds, but it’s worth noticing the two guitarists other projects, which I will bring up a bit later in the review.

We are but dust…

This debut EP contains two tracks that together spans almost eighteen minutes, and in spite of their length, the tracks never becomes dull but they keep intriguing the listener. That is mainly because of the outstanding musicianship and the production, which both go hand in hand. The two guitarists, Yuri and Ruben are a perfect match and they both got experience in the atmospheric black metal field, which clearly is present on this release. It blends perfect with the black/doom style and the lyrical themes of the band, however the lyrics are not available. But vocalist Mitch mentions: “Our lyrics deal with nature, esotericism, the eternal cycle between life and death and negative experiences in life“. You don’t even have to take my word, or Mitch’s word for that matter, just listen to the music and you’ll get the idea. Even though the vocals are black metal oriented it is possible to draw excerpts of the lyrics. 

We are monuments…

It would be rude of me not to mention drummer Martijn, and bassist Dennis as well. Both of the guys adds so much to the soundscape of the record and it probably would not be the same if just one of the members of the band (counting all five) were not present on “The December Sessions”. The drums keeps the music fresh, and even in the slower passages there is added small nudges here and there. Dennis and his bass is invaluable to this record (and his bandmates as well) and the thick sound adds to the atmosphere of the two tracks. Furthermore, the whole production lifts not only the bass, but everything up. I don’t really know how to describe the vocal, and if I did there would probably be a lot of people who would not get the same idea. Especially if I said that Mitch sounds like this vocalist, but also have qualities similar to that vocalist. But as I mentioned, they are black metal oriented so don’t expect Candlemass vocals. There is also backing vocals from guitarist Yuri, which are perfectly slipped in “beneath” Mitch’s vocals. And they really match sound-wise, and gives the vocals a bigger sound from time to time.

I’ve seen many bands describing their music, trying to make it more interesting and make you anticipate things. Stuff like: “This is a musical journey like never before”, and all kind of other stuff, I’m sure you have seen it yourself at some point. The thing is that Monuments does no such thing, instead of that they let their music do the talking. Summing up this EP, I find it to be the perfect blend between black metal and doom metal. You’re bound to be caught by this record, its magnificence and its atmosphere. Sit back and dim the lights, or go for an evening walk listening to this EP, it will match perfect.

We stand proud…

Note: Since this review was written, the band changed its name to Apotelesma. Click on the Facebook button below to find them. The other links still directs you to Monuments.

Rating – 9.5 out of 10

(Originally published on February 11th, 2014.)

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