Behold! The Monolith – Architects Of The Void (Self-released)

Genre: Doom Metal/Sludge

Los Angeles’ Behold! The Monolith were struck by tragedy in June 2013, when their charismatic frontman, Kevin McDade, died in a car accident. However, the band have since re-grouped to create this stunning album: dedicated to their former singer, it’s an incredible feat of riff-worship that stomps all over the doom and sludge scenes like an enraged goliath.

So many acts of their ilk can sound one-dimensional , but this quartet’s work is multi-textured and there’s always a surprise in store – The Mithriditist, for instance, kicks off with a punishing swamp riff, dips into black metal waters then drops into a swirling pool of psychedelia, while Philosopher’s Blade is so far, so Sabbath, before thundering into fast-paced heavy metal ecstasy.

Yes, it could easily be labelled ‘FFO Mastodon’ – and there’s no doubt that followers of Atlanta’s finest, plus Neurosis et al, will lap this record up. However, the Californians rise majestically above most of the post-‘don generation with ease, such is the quality of their songcraft.

Produced by Billy Anderson (who else?) Architects Of The Void is a triumphant opus and a fitting way to honour a lost brother. Awe-inspiring.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 8.5/10 Grand Design