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Album Reviews : Monuments – Phronesis

By on September 12, 2018

It may be hard to believe, but this band is well over a decade into their career, although this is only their third album. They are a band that emphasises quality over quantity, and this record is no exception.

Phronesis finds them in a ‘we’re plenty pissed off, let’s destroy all in our path’ type of mood. No, age has not blunted this band’s sharpness and sting whatsoever, all ten tracks on this record smash you hard right between the eyes. The djenty, proggy and grandiose guitars pump, grind and bark, the drums pound like thunder (especially on Vanta) and frontman, the great Chris Baretto, howls like his very life depends upon it, sings like an angel and generally puts in one of the best-recorded performances of his distinguished career.

At the same time, the songs soar to the very heavens. Yes, this band has that uncanny knack of rocking harder than a ten-ton slab of granite but writing tunes that are anthemic and catchy as all hell at the same time. Check out the enormous choruses on Mirror Image and Jukai for proof. It’s always a winning combination.

Elsewhere, the album sure does have a serious set of bookends, A.W.O.L. is a melodic brute of an opener and signals the band’s intentions in no uncertain terms from the get-go, while The Watch is one of the strongest, most fist-pumping album closers of recent times. There’s virtually no filler in between however, it’s all killer.

Call it djent, dump whatever label on it that you must, to me it just sounds like powerhouse progressive metal with strong melodic inclinations, excellent, catchy songs and illustrious level musicianship. What more could you want?

Band: Monuments
Album: Phronesis
Year: 2018
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label: Century Media
Origin: United Kingdom

About

Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine, themusic.com.au, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.