The Monolith Deathcult Unveil “Todesnacht von Stammhein”
The Monolith Deathcult are a death metal band hailing from the Netherlands that truly earn the prefix “extreme”. Not only is their music crushing, but their dedication to their extreme aesthetic is admirable. A band that could just be another very strong death metal act are elevated to the status of an equally persuasive and effective marketing vehicle. Of course, at The Monolith we’re very happy to support any band that shares similarities with our namesake, it’s an absolute bonus that the musical product being offered here is fantastic.
It’s been a little while since The Monolith Deathcult announced they were working on their fifth album, titled Tetragrammaton. They unveiled the first track from it in a lyric video. “God Among Insects” was a compelling track that even went so far as to acquire tongue in cheek voice over material from Optimums Prime voice actor legend Peter Cullen. Sure, he tells a story, but much like the lyrical content of Ghost you’d be forgiven for thinking of it as nothing more than a marketing gimmick. Their general attitude and demeanour can be raucously entertaining (just read their Facebook page), but these moments can be short-lived. It’s doubtful that some of the cheesier aspects of their music will have as much weight on repeat listens.
Regardless, the band have succeeded here in crafting intricate, grandiose compositions that signal the arrival of the apocalypse. Musically, The Monolith Deathcult is an industrial tinged behemoth, capable of obliterating everything in its path. Their sound is reminiscent to The Project Hate MCMXCIX except with a more humourous Dethklok vibe, i.e. the band are very self aware of their music and image instead of taking themselves too seriously, which is refreshing. While the band’s attitude is welcome, they manage to strike a balance between making music that can be taken seriously for its exquisite and mature compositional value, even if the subject matter is more asinine.
The Monolith Deathcult have since uncaged a second song, this one entitled “Todesnacht von Stammhein” and sadly this is considerably weaker than their first released effort. While by no means a travesty, the song feels like a Rammstein clone in its early stages (the spoken German lyrical content and heavy industrial vibe certainly don’t help dissuade these comparisons) and takes far too long to get off the ground. The song does certainly pick up towards the middle, but the whole thing feels a little repetitive and uninspired. Here’s hoping that this is an anomaly on the record and not indicative of the whole product.
For those interested, there is a cool history lesson to be found behind the lyrics. The title refers to the so-called “Death Night of Stammhein” (October 18, 1977) on which three members of the Red Army Faction imprisoned in Stammheim Prison were mysteriously found dead in their cells. You can learn more about these events from everyone’s favourite homework resource. It’s a pretty interesting story and it’s cool that the band would choose to shed some light on events like this. The great thing for a band like The Monolith Deathcult is that you’re unlikely to run out of weird things that have occurred in history that are ripe subject matter for having a death metal song written about them.
Tetragrammaton will be released via Season Of Mist Records on May 10th and May 14th in Europe and North American respectively.