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In their fourteen years of existence, Los Angeles’ progressive sludge stalwarts Behold! The Monolith have experienced triumph, loss and all that is in between. Their 2012 release Defender, Redeemist was a breakthrough, described as a “musical reincarnation of the Wooly Mammoth” by Blabbermouth.net – but the passing of bassist and vocalist Kevin McDade in 2013 put their ascent to a halt. Guitarist Matt Price and drummer Chase Manhattan explored new lineups, unfamiliar musical territory and even other bands in the years that passed.
2015 saw the release of Behold! The Monolith’s last full-length Architects of the Void, which touched upon black metal textures, and the album cycle culminated in a 2016 appearance at Roadburn Festival. The pair then toured the world as the rhythm section for Portland’s Lord Dying and performed on that band’s last record, Mysterium Tremendum.
In 2019, Price and Manhattan returned to the band’s original power-trio format, adding veteran Menno Verbaten (Lowlife/Cryptic Slaughter, Expulsion, Lightning Swords of Death) to the lineup on bass and vocals. The three have spent the last two years refining what made Behold! The Monolith one of Los Angeles’ greatest treasures over the last decade: lumbering iron riffs that kneel at the altar of Iommi, foam-mouthed roars, serpentine solos and Price’s innate love for southern licks and classic metal tics. From the Fathomless Deep is Behold! The Monolith’s darkest and most menacing record yet, an album that stares fearlessly into the shadows. The fist-pumping bounce from Defender/Redeemist’s “We Are the Worm” is replaced with twisting and ghostly maneuvering on “Spirit Taker,” and Price’s solos clasp at heights unseen on “Psychlopean Dread” and the titanic typhoon that is “Stormbreaker Suite.”
The Behold! The Monolith of 2022 is not the same band we knew all those years ago: grizzlier, rougher-hewn and more technically visceral than they’ve ever been. A welcome reward for their decade-old following, and an ear-splitting surprise for those unbaptized.
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Crown/The Immeasurable Void 00:00
Psychlopean Dread 09:29
Spirit Taker 15:58
The Wailing Blade 21:37
The Seams Of Pangaea 25:28
Stormbreaker Suite 34:23