New doom band, Monolith Cult, release their debut album RUN FROM THE LIGHT this summer on Future Noise Recordings. Lair of Filth’s Wayne Simmons got a tasty little preview and exclusive interview to boot.
There’s a lot of Sabbathian doom around at the moment. It’s become something of a trend; or for those more cynical, a bandwagon; low-end stoner grooves emitting from just about every other guitar amp in metal right now. Hell, even Sabbath themselves are getting in on it, their first album in eighteen years released just this week.
As with every trend, there are those that do it well and those that do it… not so well. And then there’s those like Monolith Cult who do it just the way they fucking want. Their debut album RUN FOR THE LIGHT, released this Summer through Future Noise Recordings, is as Sabbathian as they come, particularly with the grooves laid down by axeman Lee Baines. But there’s something else going on here. Something you may not expect...
‘There was no real plan for this record; we just wrote what we thought sounded good,’ explains vocalist Bry Outlaw. ‘There is a definite Sabbath influence in the music, there is no denying this. Lee has a fucking great guitar sound which pushes the tunes and punishes the ears.’
‘Vocally my favourite singers are Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillan and Klaus Meine. To me these guys are the ultimate Rock singers. I suppose how I sing is a weak combination of them all.’
And you can hear that clearly within this record. Not least in title track, MONOLITH CULT, a foot-stomping, fist-in-the-air rabble-rouser. Here the vocals are Joe Lynn Turner possessed by Ronnie James Dio, and, despite Bry’s candour, it works a bloody treat. The crooning rides beautifully atop Baines’ guitar, a tuned down riff machine that’s ever changing, ever-fluid and ever brilliant.
Monolith Cult will grab you from get-go. This is good time doom n’roll at its very best. And the feel-good factor is intentional: ‘We tried to work in some choruses that are catchy,’ explains Bry, ‘even though the main themes of the album are quite pessimistic. We have a sarcastic and cynical approach to the world. These definitely are good times for end times.’
Which gets us onto the lyrics. RUN FROM THE LIGHT is not going to best please the vicar, what with titles like BLIND WATCHMAKER and SOLD DOWN THE RIVER. But if Richard Dawkins were a metalhead, he’d be a fan for sure, and good money says the MC boys probably dig him, too: ‘We are anti-theists,’ Bry explains. ‘Religion is the last bastion of delusion, where no proof is required. Most people are convinced through confirmation bias, which is basically deluded people, telling other deluded people that their delusions are real. To quote Carl Sagan: ‘It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.’
Carl Sagan? Very fucking fancy and not entirely in line with that good-time rock n’ roll vibe we were talking about earlier. But that’s the beauty of this record: it’s the perfect, balls-to-the-wall jam with as much to say musically as it does lyrically.
There’s a strong progressive rock feel, for one thing. Particularly when it comes to song structure. 3rd track on the album, VIOLENT MOVEMENTS, throws brutal yet technical guitar out, riffing like a bastard one minute, discordant harmonies the next. And it’s never stagnant, never lazy: these are guys who’ve been round the block a bit; who know how to play and aren’t afraid to show it. Bry again: ‘The birth of Monolith Cult came from the death of an old band that Lee, Izak and myself were in. We had disbanded but me and Lee still wanted to get a new band on the go. We had known Damo for ages and asked if he fancied a jam which went great, so we asked Izak if he wanted to get involved. We realised we were onto something good; we have known each other for bloody years and it was great to get a line-up that isn’t compromised by people with the wrong attitude.’
Clearly, this is a group effort; a sound that’s all about contrast and embracing such. And yet every single note blends together perfectly: despite the variety of influences and the fingers-up attitude, this is a band, and these are tracks that work together under a single banner.
And the banner in question…
‘Monolith Cult has a special mission to destroy humanity.’
01. Sold Down The River
02. Monolith Cult
03. Blind Watchmaker
04. Violent Movements
05. Human Cull
06. Suicide and Heroin
RUN FROM THE LIGHT will be released this summer on Future Noise Recordings on Limited edition White Vinyl, CD and digital download.