Release Date: April 15, 2022
Genre: Metalcore, Progressive Metal Label: Century Media Records Monuments is a progressive metalcore band based out of London, England, but with band members living all over the globe. With the release of their anticipated fourth studio record, In Stasis -with new lead vocalist Andy Cizek- on April 15th via Century Media Records. Honestly, Monuments wasn't on my radar until Andy joined the roster because of his other projects like Termina (with Nik Nocturnal) and Makari. The band went with producer George Lever, who has produced notable acts such as Loathe, Sleep Token, and Holding Absence. A great catalogue right there. In Stasis, to me, is a direction I hope the band keeps. I also hope the band keeps Andy on board for future projects to come, but I feel they can do a lot better mastering for future projects. The album starts off with "No One Will Teach You," featuring Neema Askari (Fellsilent, ex-Monuments). I'm not familiar with who the feature is, to be honest, even though he was the former vocalist of the band, but Neema had some decent screams on the track. But "No One Will Teach You" is an amazing start with heavy guitar riffs and crazy guitar scales. It's an interesting take with electronic effects. It kind very much reminds me of that Crystal Lake vibe. Of course, hardcore screams that Andy is insane for, with his high vocals as well.
"Lavos" follows it up with another great track with hardcore screams/cleans and some amazing drums with a few groovy guitar riffs. It's a very enjoyable track. Kind of got into the grove of it after a few other listens. With an amazing hard scream at the end with a cool kind of Starset-like electronic ending. "Cardinal Red" is another great track with cleans from Andy, but it has a good balance of screams. This track kind of seemed heavier on the instrumental side, and it was hard to understand the vocals compared to the other tracks so far. Like guitars were just heavier than Andy's vocals. No idea if they were going for that on purpose on this track. Nonetheless, another great track. "Opiate" features a very cool ambient girl vocal. The track felt fast though. It just whipped by but also has more cleans compared to other tracks so far on the record. It has more "cleaner screams" if that makes sense. But a wicked hard long scream from Andy that went straight into the abyss. Very cool effects with electronics with the production the band took on this track. "Collapse" was a good metalcore track for the fans. Just hard. It gives that roughness but still has some cleans in it. The band just knows how to rock with riffs. "Arch Essence" features Spencer Sotelo from the progressive metal band Periphery. I'm a huge fan of Periphery, and hearing Spencer's screams on this, I melted. Along with Andy's cleans on this track, they blended together so well. I hope they can work on more projects together because that might be my favourite track on the entire record. Spencer's cleans kind of felt a little bit masked hard behind the guitar riffs. This is where I feel maybe the mixing was a little off. "Somnus" is another song that doesn't feel balanced with the mixing with the vocals. To me, it sounds okay. Just hard with the guitars but just some parts, you can't even hear Andy's screams, heck even his cleans. "False Providence" starts with some nice chiller cleans. Probably my favourite verses from Andy on the album, with the cleans and higher clean screams in the middle of the track. The vocals just seem so nice with that almost orchestra kind of effect. It's another good track that I will be going back to. "Makeshift Harmony" is a funny title that they picked for the song. It goes hard but does have a repetitive chorus with Andy singing that same lyric of "Why." I can see it for the first time, but that second one is so close to the first one, it's not it. The final track of the record, "The Cimmerian," is the longest track on the album, with a length of eight minutes. For you all-knowing, I continued bopping my head while writing this review. It's a great tune. But they caught me off guard with an acoustic guitar in the middle with all these heavier tracks before it. Something that took a 180, but it goes right back into that metal. This tells you Monuments is up to really experiment with stuff to see what fans might be interested to hear.
Monuments put together a solid record this year. With some banger tracks. I just wish they had some better mixing and mastering on some of the tracks on In Stasis, but other than that minor issue, we got hit after hit on the album. I'm excited to see what Andy can bring to the group in the future, and I hope he stays with the band for a very long time. He's a great fit into the lineup. I even hope to possibly see a tour with this lineup as soon as possible.
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