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MONUMENT Hellhound

By Daniel Höhr, European Correspondent
Tuesday, July 10, 2018 @ 12:58 AM


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MONUMENT
Hellhound

ROAR! Rock of Angels Records, 2018




The New Wave of British Heavy Metal is certainly the Golden Age of heavy metal music and it seems that for many years now there has been a steady interest in that era that gave us bands that, each in their own way, contributed to our favourite rock music genre. Every now and again bands and artists from that time crop up again and release albums that prove the timelessness of the styles that were cultivated in the late 1970s and early 1980s in Great Britain and particularly in London.

And yet it is not only the veterans that remind the heavy metal world of their existence but also new bands that are committed to writing music inspired by the NWOBHM and thus keep it alive. One of them is the London-based five-piece MONUMENT, formed in 2012, who have recently released their third full-length studio effort, named Hellhound.

The first word that comes to mind when the up-tempo opener “William Kid” kicks in is “Maidenesque”, featuring all the qualities we know from early IRON MAIDEN: galloping bass, alternating guitar solos and hook lines that would fit in many a MAIDEN track. However, far from sounding like a copy of all too familiar formulas, this song sounds refreshingly new, which is also down to the modern production sound. “The Chalice” has more of a rock 'n' roll feel to it and develops into a catchy and fun to listen to track. The third track, “Death Avenue” once again brings back a certain MAIDEN feel, but is more rooted in stuff you would find on Brave New World and Dance of Death. A great track, certainly a candidate for the repeat button. “Nightrider” is built on a slow and grinding riff and what comes to mind here is JUDAS PRIEST – but once again it is more the feel than the actual musical material the song is composed of, which is enirely original and betrays stellar songwriting skills. “Hellhound” comes along as a galloping kick-ass uptempo number. The only thing the next track and a certain SAXON classic have in common is the title, “Wheels of Steel” – riffy, classic metal and a hook line you may have heard somwhere before but which never gets old. After a balladesque intro, which is repeated at the end of the song, “The End” is built on a beefy, no-frills riff and turns out to be a sinister and energy-driven metal track. The only complaint I have is that it could do with a bit more variation, especially with regard to the main riff, which sounds a tad dull in the long run. However, when it does change, MONUMENT burst into an instrumental part which may have been inpired by the solo part of IRON MAIDEN's “Revelations”. Then “Attila” comes galloping along and once more there are bits and pieces from MAIDEN tracks that come to mind while you play this song. “Straight Through The Heart” is refreshingly different in its rock 'n' roll attitude and features a catchy, shout-along chorus with soaring vocals. “Creatures of the Night” is another groovy rock 'n' roller that features singer Peter Ellis's powerful and expressive vocals. Not much is to be said about the ensuing “Long Live Rock 'n' Roll” with the possible exception that I have definitely heard much worse versions of this classic. Whether or not it was really necessary to include this track on the album and whether the album would lose anything without it may be open to debate though. “Deja Vu” is a cover of the MAIDEN song on Somewhere in Time – and not a bad one either.

Hellhound is a fun, great sounding album, featuring classic heavy metal songs in a modern sound, superbly written, arranged and performed. Singer Peter Ellis, lead guitarists Lewis Stephens and Dan Baune, bassist Daniel Bate and drummer Giovanni Durst do a hell of a job and form a formidable band. However, the band's music would benefit a lot from a bit more distance to IRON MAIDEN's style and a dash more originality than they already show.

4.0 Out Of 5.0


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