British band Monument describe themselves as a 'True Metal' band and hark back to those halcyon days when the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (aka the NWOBHM movement) bands ruled the pubs and clubs of Britain before they took over the world.
What Monument gives you is a reminder of how good the music was back then with a collection of ten solid Heavy Metal tunes that were influenced by those great bands.
Don't get me wrong, though, these songs may take an influence from the bands of thirty plus years ago, but these tracks certainly don't sound dated – what the band give you, is a fresh take on an old formula.
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Take the title track 'Renegades' for example, which has vocalist Peter Ellis giving his best Bruce Dickinson-esque scream before launching into his main vocal track. All credit to him, though, because his vocal style suits the music perfectly and he soars through the choruses really stretching his vocal chords while the guitar riff chugs away relentlessly in the background.
'Fatal Attack' is another fast one with Ellis sounding particularly evil as he spits out the vocals. The chorus is punchy and memorable and will have you happily singing along after relatively few listens too. 'Rock The Night' opens with another Dickinson-esque scream from Ellis and there's no let up as the band tears through the song. Ellis' vocal lines are fairly short here but they are really well executed the chorus benefits from some backing vocals adding a fuller sound to the track.
The twin guitar solos courtesy of Lewis Stephens and Dan Baune keep this track going and both solos are performed well before they return to the main guitar riff – classic stuff.
It's not just fast songs that this band can do, though, as they demonstrate with 'Crusaders' which has drummer, Matt C., taking centre stage as he kick off this mid paced number, battering out the steady beat with the guitar riff drives the track onwards. The guitar solo here is one of the best on the album and it's a real joy to hear as well as managing to add a little extra magic to the track.
'Midnight Queen' (far and away my favourite track on the album), is another great example of the band taking their time and making the most of the material. Ellis sounds not unlike Ozzy Osbourne here as he sings lines like "she's the devil in high heels she's the devil in midnight green" which brings a smile to my face every time I hear it. Bass player Chris Dale finally gets his moment in the spotlight too, with some great precision playing before the twin guitar solos take it up a notch once again.
'Red Dragon' is a rarity these days as it's an instrumental track showcasing the power behind the voice. It's a great track, though, as it whizzes along at a fair pace before its epic finale. It has crossed my mind whether this was written as an instrumental or whether the band decided not to add lyrics – not that it matters of course, because its place on the album is very well deserved.
'Save Me' is a slow burner tempo-wise, with the bass guitar and drums taking the lead before they're joined by an acoustic guitar. By far the slowest song on the album, it's certainly not short of heaviness with the addition of the electric guitars. A triumph from start to finish, this sits alongside 'Midnight Queen' as another outstanding track and it really proves that this band are capable of writing and performing tracks that aren't all fast and furious.
The band are building a steady following and having seen them live twice in the last year, I'm happy to say that a lot of these songs are in the bands set list and come across very well live too. With a number of appearances in the UK and Europe booked already this summer, this is an album that I highly recommend that you buy and if you have the chance to see them live too, this is certainly an offer you should take up.
Rock The Night
You can hear the track 'Crusaders' here:
You can see Monument live here:
Saturday 19th July – SOS Festival, Manchester
Thursday 7th August – Bloodstock, Catton Park, Derbyshire
Saturday 18th October – Metalwave Festival, Purfleet
Peter Ellis - Vocals
Lewis Stephens - Lead Guitar
Dan Baune - Lead Guitar
Chris Dale - Bass guitar
Matt C - Drums
Official Website: http://www.planetmonument.com