Monuments have touted as being near the forefront of British progressive metal for awhile now, but until now have never delivered to their full potential due to various line up changes – mainly on vocals. Now with ex Periphery and every band under the sun member Chris Barretto at the helm, this is Monuments’ year.
I the Creator is their debut single from their new album The Amanuensis (it will be a miracle if I spell that consistently correctly through the duration of this review), and the progression that the band have made since their last album Gnosis is evidently apparent. Whilst previous vocalist Matt Rose was accomplished, Barretto really takes the bull by the horns and makes the songs catchier and more vocally impressive with a fantastic sense of harmony.
His vocal style combined with John Browne’s guitar style mesh wonderfully well and the overall vibe of this track matches Periphery at its very best, which is not surprising due to Barretto’s previous involvement with the American djent giants.
In terms of the track it opens with a hypnotic guitar line underpinned by some heavy chugging. This all makes way to a cleaner verse where Barretto’s vocals are brought to the fore, which is contrasted by a heavier pre chorus. The chorus is catchy as a common cold, and the subsequent breakdown is heavy whilst avoiding most of the standard troupes of the genre, by incorporating more out of their guitar lines.
The overall nature of the production and composition is very impressive, and for fans of Periphery and Tesseract should lap this up.
At just about 4 minutes, the song never over indulges or outstays its welcome. It leaves you pumped, yearning for more. And as a fan of all of Barretto’s work (he is also a very talented alto sax player) I hope The Amanuensis gets him recognised as one of the genres top vocalists, and establishes the band where they rightfully belong – as one of the best progressive metal bands in the country.
As the album doesn’t come out until the 23rd of June, I cannot comment on the themes that the album addresses, but how cool does that album art look seriously? (I’m wearing their shirt with the design on as we speak)
Judging by the potential of I the Creator, The Amanuensis has the potential to be one of the first big hitters in the progressive metal scene this year, so I will give I the Creator a 4.5 out of 5