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Monkeypriest : The Psalm

Monkeypriest write good doomy Sludge songs, but there is room for improvement.

This second album of Monkeypriest begins with some Buddhist monk singing, which suggests a continuation of a spiritual nature, a bit quirky, a breath of fresh air... but the breeze falls in a blink. The band then simply ruminates the muggy acrimony it already manifested in its four title-EP that got them signed by the Spanish label Feretro Records in 2010. The band didn’t take any chance: the compositions are of the same dirty greasy ilk. On the menu: rough and creepy doomy Sludge. It is a well-oiled machine, covered with swollen pustules that burst one after the other at the pace of its shaky but determined progression. Monkeypriest build their atmospheres carefully, the music reeks of putrefaction; the viscous half-growled Sludge voice, full of venom, spits foul mucus; some oldschool Death leads, sour and eerie, punctuate the songs.

This is all well and good, but it awakens no excess of enthusiasm in me. It is not until the last track of the album that a new dynamic comes and disturbs a little the unruffled character of the music. A vocal duet: Sludge voice/clear voice - almost yodeling, chanting hymns in the way you can hear in Orthodox’ songs. A track that should serve as business card to the band as it is complex and well-crafted. At the 6 minute mark, a break full of atmosphere, led by the bass, weaves a harrowing web; it’s tense, very ‘post- corish’, the intensity swells, rises to a crescendo, thunders, expands, then come low-pitched droning guitars on hectic drum patterns, before the lead guitar enters and releases a sly groove.

Monkeypriest is a band that doesn’t lack talent but still lacks individuality, it’s a bit flat. You remain a bit stony-faced listening to the first songs: the recipe needs consistency. The evidence of that is the excellent track 7, which, still several notches above the others, curiously displays a richer palette, more daring, whereas the other 6 tracks recycle old (good) ideas and unroll a familiar sound. One can imagine that this track 7 is the announcement of things to come. If so, then Monkeypriest will really become essential.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Hanuman's Dance
2. The Word Of The Priest
3. The Psalm
4. Involution
5. Feast Of The Fools
6. Capharnaum
7. Our Kingdom (Involution Pt. II)

Duration : Approx. 46 minutes

Visit the Monkeypriest bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-03-07 by Bertrand Marchal
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