Following the 80s, thrash metal has been criticized frequently for being “simple” and “unoriginal”. Monsterworks is certainly a thrash band, but to pigeonhole them into the genre and make presumptions may turn you away from a unique listening experience. Described by the band themselves on facebook, Monsterworks is a “progressive thrashtasmic entity”, but that description also is not entirely conclusive when attempting to describe the band’s music. Yes, Monsterworks uses fast guitar riffs, pounding drums, and complicated solos; however, their eighth effort “Earth” holds other qualities atypical of the progressive and thrash genres: high pitched vocals characteristic of power metal and gutteral growls within the music.
In “Earth”, Monsterworks creates a concept record illustrating the development of earth from its creation to the present era. Applying a spacey-feel to the first song of the album, ‘From Dust and Gravity’ exhibits the formation of the Earth before exceeding with intensity into ‘Late Heavy Bombardment’, of which details the theorized bombardment of necessary chemicals for life. Over time, the melodic and progressive ‘Oxygenation’ provides for the expansion of life and diversification of species. The bombastic and demanding ‘Bookended by Extinction’ marks the extinction of the dinosaurs and the empowering ‘Aeon of Man’ characterizes the formation of humanity. Finally, the concluding track, ‘Earth’, closes the album on a delicate note reminding listeners of the personal responsibility necessary to preserve the planet.
Apart from the evident appreciation of our home planet, an admirable feature of “Earth” is Monsterwork’s ability to craft music that rises and falls in tempo based on the time periods that the songs are based upon. In the heavier moments of the album found in songs such as ‘Late Heavy Bombardment’, vocalist Jono Blade can’t help but delve into death growls and in the ethereal moments of ‘Earth’, Jono is inclined to sing softly throughout atmospheric portions of the music. Monsterworks uses both ambient and aggressive moments in the album well to allow the songs to deviate in structure and maintain a listener’s interest in the music.
As a diverse effort from Monsterworks, “Earth” captures a blend of the thrash and progressive genres succinctly. “Earth” is unconventional and requires a few listen to fully grasp the concept and structure of the songs; however, the album will grow on listeners over time as the musical influences of the band become more prevalent after multiple listens. “Earth” is a fine continuation of Monsterwork’s career and is certainly one of the few metal albums out there that uses the words ‘photosynthesis’ and ‘symbiosis’!
- From Dust and Gravity
- Late Heavy Bombardment
- The Last Univesal Ancestor
- Powered by Fate
- Bookended by Extinction
- Aeon of Man
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You can preorder “Earth” on Monsterwork’s online store