MONUMENT OF MISANTHROPY – Unterweger

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label: Transcending Obscurity
Released: 2021
Buy Album: Bandcamp
Band Website: Facebook

Band line-up:

George ‘Misanthrope’ Wilfinger – Vocals
Joe Gatsch – Lead guitars
Shoi Sen (De Profundis) – Lead guitars
Sam Terrak – Bass
Cédric Malebolgia (Putridity) – Drums

Tracklisting:

1. The Mysterious Hollywood Hat-Trick (ft. Julien Truchan ofBenighted)
2. The Strangulation of Silvia Zagler
3. Tales From The Vienna Woods
4. Exceptionally Sadistic
5. A Man With A Special Qualification
6. Demon Of Graz
7. The Strangulation Of Blanka Bockova
8. Midnight
9. Miami Vice -Miami Gold (ft. Sven De Calue ofAborted)
10. The Legacy Of A Malignant Monster
11. A Cleansing Storm
12. Fall From Grace

Review:

Monument of Misanthropy are a death metal band on Transcending Obscurity Records, who will be releasing their latest full length album ‘Unterweger’ on 12th November, 2021. It follows their 2012 demo ‘Bedroom Misanthropy’; their 2014 LP ‘Anger Mismanagement’; and their 2017 EP ‘Capital Punisher’. They now have a fresh line-up including two new guitarists, one of which played with fellow death metal band De Profundis. The band also features a new bassist, and the drummer of Putridity. Their sound is more powerful than ever, but there is depth to the music, too. They are for fans of Suffocation, Gorgasm, and Defeated.

This album technically lasts 38 minutes, but remember about 2 and half of those are people getting strangled. In those 36 or so minutes of playing, expect a lot of notes and beats of the drum. Far too many to count. You can try if it makes you happy, but I wouldn’t that’s all I’m saying. I actually think this kind of music is supposed to be enjoyed loud and head banged to. Try counting to a million when doing that. As explained earlier, there is depth to the music though. That’s worth pointing out twice, as death metal is often pretty straightforward – just play fast as possible, and slow right down every now and then to make the fast parts seem even faster. With MoM on the other hand, you get the two guitarists working together expertly. Sometimes one plays something (relatively) soft with the other playing heavier, other times both axeman are on full power. It’s very cool. You even get spooky clean guitar moments. 

Whilst you get more riffs than you could ever want, sadly the riffs aren’t particularly innovative. Sure guitar parts in this style of music very rarely are, and when they are, they tend to sound weird, (experimental doom music is often plain horrible), but surely chromatic scales, tremolo picking and blast beats don’t have to abused quite so much. It’s a particularly uninspired sound when the guitars simply go down the scale with no embellishments, and you get a fair bit of that stuff, here. More chromatic riffs have a kind of ‘Master of Puppets’ or ‘Raining Blood’ feel. There are hints of progressive metal in the music, when the band twist and develop rhythms without having the need to go mental on the kick drum constantly, and the guitars sometimes have a sense of sophistication too. However, Dream Theater fans will want to look elsewhere, unless they’re feeling really p***ed off. Some sections of ‘Fall From Grace’, even remind me of Soundgarden’s ‘Rusty Cage’ just a tad, in that the tempo slows down and plays unpredictable beats, but MoM are heavier, of course.

In conclusion, this is pretty standard stuff. It’s very fast and it’s very heavy, but how about some Arabic riffs? Maybe some pentatonic riffs, or even a touch of dorian? The shred guitar solos abuse the tremolo arm, and we all love that from time to time, but the flashiness doesn’t really add much to the sound. It’s just some lunatic wigging out. The solo delivery is better than that of Kerry King, but the shredder here isn’t exactly a virtuoso. The drummer isn’t the tightest person on Earth either, but if you’re more old school, the ever so slightly out of time beats shouldn’t matter at all. We’re all human. (Well computers and Pro Tools aren’t but you know what I mean). Give this album a listen if you want a chromatic thrill fest and like the sound of people getting strangled, but the innovation levels are very low.

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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