Album Review: Behold! The Monolith ‘Architects Of The Void’
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Behold! The Monolith
Architects of the Void
Arctic Forest Records
Release date: September 29, 2015

It’s been a long road back from tragedy for Behold! The Monolith. In early 2013, the Los Angeles-based stoner/doom outfit was among the brightest rising stars in the genre. Their second album, Defender/Redeemist, which was produced by the legendary Billy Anderson, had just been released to very positive reviews and they were about to embark on a tour in support of it. Then on June 21st, tragedy struck when the band’s 29-year-old bassist and lead singer Kevin McDade was killed in an auto accident. Remaining members Matt Price and Chase Manhattan were left devastated and unsure of their future as a band. It was at the behest of the McDade family that they made the decision to carry on as Behold! The Monolith in honor of their fallen brother.

The band recruited bassist Jason “Cas” Casanova (also of Sasquatch) and nearly a year later played their comeback show with Price taking on vocal duties himself. After that show, the guitarist decided that the band would be better served by bringing on a new lead singer. They recruited versatile MI vocal instructor Jordan Nalley and the lineup was complete. After almost another year of writing new material and gigging, the band retreated to a studio in the California desert this past spring to begin work on their third album. Billy Anderson was once again at the helm. The result of those sessions was the recently released Architects of the Void.

The album is a tour de force that transcends the stoner/doom label that has often been attached to the band. B!TM sound like a band with a legacy to uphold and something to prove. Over the course of the album’s seven tracks the quartet put on a master class of heaviness. From the funereal dirge of album opener “Umbral Vale” (a song that Price wrote the very night of McDade’s accident) to the speed metal sections of “Between Oder and the Vistula” these guys exhibit a mastery of all things metal. Cas’ thundering bass and Manhattan’s pummeling drums provide a solid metal foundation for Price’s deft guitar work and Nalley’s nuanced banshee wail. Album highlights include “Philosopher’s Blade” “The Mithriditist” and “Lord of Bones”

Architects of the Void is a document of a band paying homage to it’s own history and the memory of a fallen bandmate. But it is also a mission statement of a band that is clearly enjoying what they’re doing and looking to the future. One of the best doom metal albums of the year!

Rating 9.0 out of 10

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