Amebix - Monolith
Dissonance Productions
Crust Punk Precursor
9 songs ()
Release year: 2017
Reviewed by Alex

Amebix is not the name I ever heard before. Yet reading that this UK band is considered to be forefathers of crust punk and provided influence to many in the genre I wanted to hear the reissue of Monolith, the album which was considered a major release for Amebix at the time, yet the one responsible for their subsequent long term disbandment, before the Brits recombined for a second stint a few years ago.

Brought together by the Miller brothers when they were still young, Amebix may have been one of the firsts to combine punk self-abandonment and metal heaviness, but, honestly, if I were to hear Monolith as a stand-alone album, without prior reference and explanation, I would not have connected it to the hardcore punk of today. After a stately ominous title track intro, for several Amebix puts on a display of Motörhead influenced fast slip-sliding whizzing guitar tremolos, backed by booming bass and active drums, all with quashed understated production. Once Amebix establishes their riffs they ride them for a while, true to the punk traditions of simplicity, with one or two melodic inflections per song. Monolith songs actually last a while, since Amebix have something to say lyrically, mostly in the themes of nihilism, from what I can hear. Rob Miller voice though, with its sour cantankerous disposition reminds me for some reason of Abbath on I, and that is why I could not shake the impression of that album when >b>Amebix delivered slower and sludgier material (Last Will and Testament). Mostly Monolith is more up tempo, and at times it is speedy melodic thrash (Fallen from Grace), but there is some Killing Joke influences here as well. I.C.B.M. is ominous goth’n’roll chugging which will wipe smiles off you faces, and closer Coming Home is also slower, doomier, more solemn, bringing the album to an almost tragic close, while the first half is definitively speedier and thrashier.

Without falling in love with it, or putting Monolith on a pedestal, I appreciated the history lesson Dissonance Productions were able to uncover.

Killing Songs :
Alex quoted 75 / 100
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