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This or the Apocalypse - "Monuments" (CD)

This or the Apocalypse - "Monuments" CD cover image

"Monuments" track listing:

1. No Horizons
2. Monuments
3. Two Wars
4. We Are Debt
5. Geist
6. Architeuthis
7. The Polymath
8. Memento Mori
9. Manua Kea
10. Elegiac

Reviewed by on April 7, 2009

"Sounding very much like As I Lay Dying, this band shows that they have talent and are not all about image."

Before I’d listened to This or the Apocalypse's "Monuments," I was expecting this band to sound a lot like Underoath. How wrong was I? The first song, “No Horizons,” gets the ball rolling straight away. Sounding very much like As I Lay Dying, this band shows that they have talent and are not all about image. The song is full of shreds and not once do you hear a breakdown. Considering that this is meant to be metalcore, it is a welcome change. As an opener, “No Horizons” definitely does the band justice.

The following song, “Monuments,” keeps the momentum going. The vocalist jumps straight into the fray and the guitars are nice and fast, but already I’m starting to feel like I have heard this song already. The metalcore roots come out in this song, with a breakdown that sounds like the opening riff of Meshuggah’s “Catch 33.”

I like albums that have songs that follow each other smoothly and This or the Apocalypse does a very good job at it. The next song, “Two Wars,” follows off straight from the end of the last song and it actually sounds quite good. It's my favourite on the album and sounds different from the previous songs, so I didn’t feel like I was listening to the same song on repeat like the previous one. At the same time, it does still sounds very familiar.
“We Are Debt” is also a highlight on this album. It is the heaviest song and also the most “core” song on the disc. This or the Apocalypse is not doing anything different so they will find a fan base within the metalcore scene, and if you can write decent songs it is okay. But unless you enjoy Killswitch Engage or As I Lay Dying, the chances of you enjoying this band is slim.

By the time the next two songs “Geist” and “Architeuthis” have finished I’ve had enough of this disc. It all sounds the same. After the last two songs, I expected the album to have kept up the momentum, which didn’t happen. The riffs sound the same, the singing sounds the same and the songs are just too long. If you want to have long songs on your album, it doesn’t hurt to actually make them listenable.

“The Polymath” offers nothing different; just the same old routine. After the first half of the album I thought I’d enjoy this band. I was wrong. Sure they can play but what’s the point if the album is going to have four good songs and the rest just filler?

“Memento Mori” was enjoyable. It is an instrumental piece with a few screams in the mix. For a band that seems to struggle with writing songs that don’t all sound the same this was a great little idea for the album, maybe if the whole thing was like this it’d seem a lot more polished.

The final two songs “Manua Kea” and “Elegiac” bring a bit of relief, that being that it’s almost over. Though very familiar, “Manua Kea” is a strong song. Sure it all sounds the same, but it is heavy and fast and I like my music that way. “Elegiac” is a long song for a band like this, clocking in at 6:11. Three minutes in it feels like the song should be over. It’s just too long for the band to pull off, although the last minute of the song is a nice; a soft bit of instrumental work that is kind of nice.

All in all the album was okay, but it didn’t really feel like a proper album as half of it seemed like filler in between the good songs. Although I didn’t enjoy it, anyone out there who loves any of the bands I mentioned earlier will love this band, it just seemed too repetitive to me. If you like Killswitch Engage buy this, if not give it a miss.

Highs: The band can play their instruments, strong vocals

Lows: 50/50 album - half is great and the rest is filler - no range

Bottom line: For fans of the bigger metalcore bands

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)