Nov 292022

(On November 25th the French band Monolithe released Kosmodrom, their latest album in a 20-year career, and in this new interview we present Comrade Aleks‘ discussion with Monolithe multi-instrumentalist Sylvain Bégot.)

Monolithe went their long way from sci-fi influenced funeral doom metal with a unique approach and to their own original melodic death-doom from outer space. Their reputation at first was built around the Monolithe triptych (The Great Clockmaker concept) where each of this series of albums consisted of one huge epic track. The band developed their ideas further and made a step out of funeral doom territories with the next albums.

The lineup is remarkably large, as their masterplan demands a careful and individual approach where each of the band’s members plays his role: Sylvain Bégot (guitars), Benoît Blin (guitars), Olivier Defives (bass), Thibault Faucher (drums), Matthieu Marchand (keyboards), and Rémi Brochard (vocals, guitars).

The new Monolithe album Kosmodrom is a 67-minute-long journey to the brave past of the Soviet Space Program, the times of healthy competitions and high hopes which seem to be lost for us nowadays. This story was told with the universal tongue of death-doom, but some of its parts demand explanations, and Monolithe’s keeper Sylvain Bégot is the one who knows all the secrets behind it. Continue reading »

Jan 232019


On we go into the 12th installment of this list, in which I’ve added three more songs. To check out the previous installments of this expanding list, you’ll find them behind this link, and to learn what this series is all about, go here.


Well, you had to know there would be an Alkaloid song on this list. We devoted a lot of attention to Liquid Anatomy (and of course so did the rest of metaldom), including Andy’s review of the album and premiere of a song, his subsequent placement of the album on his Critical Top 10 list for all of 2018, and DGR’s positioning of the record at the No. 2 spot on his own year-end Top 50 list, accompanied by an extensive write-up. Continue reading »

Apr 102018


(After a hiatus, we present another edition of Andy Synn’s three-line reviews.)


According to my records (or vague recollections) it’s been almost ten months since the last edition of ‘Reviews in Haikus’… and this simply will not stand!

So, since I have a backlog of unreviewed albums as long as the Seine, I’ve selected three albums from our Gallic cousins which deserve some attention to cover here.

So, without further ado… Continue reading »

Oct 222017


I took a break from NCS yesterday… sort of. Instead of writing something to post on Saturday, I used the time to get a head-start on a two-part SHADES OF BLACK for today. Both parts are long ones, and could have been even longer. But the first four items in this Part 1 mainly consist of album announcements and artwork rather than any new music. And yes, we’re now getting into announcements of new albums that will be released in 2018.


In the first week of this month the German label AOP Records announced that it would be releasing a new album by Harakiri For the Sky early next year, and then on Thursday of last week it revealed further details, including the cover art (by Striga) that you can see above. Continue reading »

Jun 092017


Yesterday, in a single release, Les Acteurs de l’ombre Productions premiered enough new music from stylistically significant bands to populate an entire SEEN AND HEARD post here, in addition to furnishing many other previously released songs that are well worth hearing and re-hearing.

I spotted this compilation not through the push of press promotion, but because many of my musician friends and other appreciators of extreme music spattered my Facebook feed with notices about it. So glad they did.

And because the stream is on Soundcloud and Bandcamp, I’m installing it below. And there you will hear brand new songs by Arkhon Infaustus, Monolithe, Spectrale, and Heir — about which I’ll offer some unrequested impressions — plus other excellent songs from previously released albums by Au-Dessus, Time Lurker, Pénitence Onirique, Maïeutiste, and Pensées Nocturnes. Continue reading »

Jul 082016

Monolithe-Zeta Reticuli


Only seven months ago we brought you the premiere of a full-album stream on the release date of Epsilon Aurigae, the fifth album by the remarkable Parisian band Monolithe. But that album was only the first part of a two-album work with a common theme, and the second part — entitled Zeta Reticuli — is being released today by Debemur Morti Productions. Once again, we are fortunate to bring you the premiere of a complete album stream.

Both of these albums were recorded at the same time, and as was true of Epsilon Aurigae, Zeta Reticuli is composed of three long tracks, each of them exactly 15 minutes in length. Both albums are named for binary star systems, capturing the idea of two objects orbiting a single gravitational center, or in this case, two albums revolving around a common set of ideas. Continue reading »

Jun 242016

Monolithe-Zeta Reticuli


“The Barren Depths” is the third and final song on Zeta Reticuli, the monumental new album by the unusual French progressive doom band Monolithe, which is set for release on July 8 by Debemur Morti Productions. In its full length, the song lasts for 15 magnificent minutes (as do the other two tracks). However, Monolithe have also prepared an edited version of the song that is almost exactly half that length, and it has been made the soundtrack for a stunning video that we’re premiering today.

After a sequence of four records (collectively known as “The Great Clockmaker” saga), each of which consisted of a single album-length track, Monolithe spent most of 2015 on a new project with an expanded line-up, recording two connected new albums respectively titled Epsilon Aurigae and Zeta Reticuli (each named for a binary star system). The first of those was released in December 2015, and Zeta Reticuli will follow six months later. Continue reading »

Jun 092016

Monolithe-Zeta Reticuli


Only six months ago we were privileged to bring you the premiere of a full-album stream on the release date of Epsilon Aurigae, the the fifth album by the remarkable Parisian doom band Monolithe. But that album was only the first part of a two-album conceptual work, and the second part — entitled Zeta Reticuli — has now been scheduled for release by Debemur Morti Productions on July 8. As was true of Epsilon Aurigae, the new album is composed of three long tracks, and today we’re helping share a video teaser that will begin whetting your appetite for the full experience.

In my review of the last album, I attempted to describe the experience as something akin to “diving into a deep blue hole, with crushing pressures and glowing phosphorescence all around you, or perhaps like a venture into the cold void of space. Either way, you really lose the sense that you’re standing on solid ground.”

That album was brimming with dark atmospheric music, incisively textured and powerful in its emotional impact. But for all of its alien ambience and bereft melodies, the album was also a heavyweight crusher, and one of the most mesmerizing doom albums of 2015. Understandably, I’ve been eager to discover the second half of this musical saga. Continue reading »

Dec 112015

Monolithe-Epsilon Aurigae


Today is the release date of Epsilon Aurigae, the fifth album by the remarkable Parisian doom band Monolithe, and in cooperation with Debemur Morti Productions we have for you a full stream of the album.

Epsilon Aurigae is divided into three tracks — “Synoecist”, “TMA-0”, and “Everlasting Sentry” — each of them exactly 15 minutes in length. All three are massively heavy, atmospherically chilling, and ultimately spellbinding in their effect. Continue reading »

Oct 022013

In this post I’m finishing up the round-up of recommended new songs I heard yesterday and this morning. For the first batch of goodies, go here.


I seem to have stumbled across quite a lot of doom-oriented music in the last 24 hours, what with Hamferð and Tombstoned in Part 1 of this post and now Monolithe in this one. But if you listen to all three songs you’ll hear different approaches to musical misery and ruin.

This French band, the creation of one Sylvain Bégot, has released a series of three 50-minute, single-track albums since 2003, along with two free EPs. The fourth album in the series — Monolithe IV — has now been completed and will be released by Debemur Morti Productions on October 18 (it can be pre-ordered here).

I haven’t listened to any of this band’s previous works, and was first attracted to this new one mainly by the striking cover art (by Norwegian artist Robert Høyem — click the image above to see a larger version). And then today I heard a 6-minute excerpt from the new album, which was recently unveiled on Soundcloud. Continue reading »