Nov 112013

Hope you had a good weekend. And if you didn’t, hope you have a good week. And if you don’t, I apologize for the feebleness of my hopes. At least your life will be enriched by seeing and hearing these things I saw and heard over the weekend (and yes, I had a good weekend, thank you).


When last we wrote about this Danish band it was during 2012 in a review of their three-way split with As We Draw and Euglena. They’ve now recorded a new album entitled Abalam which is projected for release on January 11, 2014. Over the weekend I saw a music video released earlier this month for one of the new songs — “Tenebris” — which was made by London filmmaker Craig Murray. Murray’s video is an homage to a certain unforgettable scene in William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, with a bit of a twist in its finale.

As for the music, it’s a storm of razors, thunder, and vocal lightning, a ravaging assault of fused black metal and hardcore. Continue reading »

Jun 242013

If you know of a death metal band other than The Monolith Deathcult who have used the Scottish folk song “Donald, where’s your trousers?” as the intro music for a live set, please speak up. I can’t imagine anyone else doing it. But that’s what TMDC did at the beginning of their performance on June 22, 2013, at the DOKK’EM OPEN AIR festival in The Netherlands.

Of course, they didn’t use the funny, up-tempo version of the song recorded by Andy Stewart. They used the slow, creepy version sung by machine intelligences in an episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. As expected, the voice of Optimus Prime makes a later appearance as well.

But as interesting (and fitting) as these oddities were, the stars of the show were THE 6TH MOST POPVLAR AND ALMOST AWARD-WINNING SVPREME AVANTGARDE DEATH METAL BAND FROM KAMPEN, THE NETHERLANDS. And man, did they crush. How do I know? Because TMDC have uploaded a quality video of the entire set to YouTube. Continue reading »

Jun 042013

(Andy Synn wrote the following essay.  However, I picked the image above, just so you don’t go believing that Andy is proclaiming his own wisdom.)

So if you’ve been following the site for a while you’ll hopefully have gotten some sense of the personalities of The Big Five ™ involved in the day to day running of things. You’ll probably know a bit about our general preferences, our particular style of writing, etc.

And if you know me, you’ll know that I’m always coming up with ideas for new ongoing columns. Some of them stick around pretty well (The Synn Report being the obvious one here) and some of them fall by the wayside.

What I’m going to try and do with this one is simply produce short/semi-short pieces of my musings on what it means to review and write about metal, the good parts, the bad parts, etc… basically just a series of random observations written up as inspiration comes to me. No real order or agenda. It just seems like it might be interesting (to some people anyway) to get an insight into my/our process when writing for the blog.

So, without further ado, let me present to you part 1 of ‘The Art Of The Review’: Continue reading »

May 222013

(As the title says, this is an interview with Michiel Dekker and Robin Kok of The Monolith Deathcult. I feel sure they are in this photo somewhere. I also feel sure you will thoroughly enjoy this interview. Speaking for myself, I laughed, I cried, I experienced the whole range of human emotions. And that was just while I was writing the questions. If somehow you don’t know about TMDC’s new album Tetragrammaton, read Andy Synn’s review here. The excellent photos accompanying the interview were taken by Raymond Groenink.)

Thanks for taking these questions.  Not that you have anything better to do, but I’m trying to be polite.  Is it working?

Robin: About as polite as an Anal Cunt song.


I’ll count that as a “Yes”. I was told you have a new album that’s now out.  Is this true?  I’d just like a little warning so I can make sure my bomb shelter is well-stocked and ready for occupancy.

Robin: I would like to officially state that whoever is spreading this misinformation, is spreading malicious truth.


Very well then.  I understand the new album is named Tetragrammaton.  I did some research, and it seems that “tetragrammaton” is the ancient Greek word that refers to the Hebrew theonym יהוה‎ (transliterated to the Latin letters YHWH), which is considered in Judaism to be a proper name of the God of Israel used in the Hebrew Bible.  Some people might think you’re putting on airs.  Why did you pick this as the name of the album?

Robin: Mainly so we could wallow in our own grandiose pseudo-intellectual wank and get interview questions that are marginally more interesting than asinine tripe such as  “could you please introduce the band to us” or “tell us about your new album” or “Thanks for taking these questions. Not that you have anything better to do, but I’m trying to be polite. Is it working?”. We picked this title for several reasons. 1) To keep in line with Trivmvirate (III = our third album), we needed a word that meant something to do with ‘four’ without actually being ‘four’. Tetra- means ‘four’ of course, so that’s that covered. The four letters could mean YHWH, but what they don’t tell you at bible study is that it really means TMDC. So no, we’re not putting on airs: we’re in full-on self-congratulatory mode!

Michiel: We also chose tetrAgrAmmAton as album title because of the triple A in it, to emphasize our major role in the music scene as we know it and because AAA stands for “PRIME” which is of course a reference to the narrator on this album. Continue reading »

May 022013

There is really no need for you to listen to Tetragrammaton before acquiring it. After all, we have been singing its praises for months, culminating in the full-fledged worship ceremony (also known as a “review“) presided over by the Rev. Andy Synn, and what right-thinking metalheads would require anything more than our word before spending their money? Speaking of which, we will be passing the alms plate at the end of this post, so please donate handsomely. Thank you.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, your not needing anything but our word to pick up Tetragrammaton. Well, in every flock there are wayward sheep who just will not do what they are told by their shepherd and insist on learning for themselves where the green pastures lie. For the wayward among you, therefore, we provide this link to Metal Sucks, where you may hear the entirety of Tetragrammaton in all its bombastic glory.

Here endeth the lesson. Please remember to leave your donation after the jump. Go in . . . NO PEACE!

Continue reading »

Apr 192013

(In this post Andy Synn reviews the new album by The Monolith Deathcult.)

I think what upsets a lot of people (and trust me, there are a lot of angry internet folk out there) is this perception that The Monolith Deathcult don’t take things seriously enough. After all, this is metal goddammit, it’s a serious business, there’s no place for irony here!

That perception is, of course, entirely wrong – but there is a kernel of truth at the centre of it.

For, like the very antithesis of Manowar, The Monolith Deathcult are exceptionally self-aware, and thrive on confronting the potential absurdity that haunts the Death Metal genre. Yet they’re a band who write songs about Nazi death-squads, jihadist extremism, African genocide… you can’t say these aren’t serious subjects! But TMDC understand that no matter how heavy, how dark it may go, no matter how much you try to dress it up, to disguise it, Death Metal can only ever approximate the barest slivers of the horrors that mankind perpetrates upon itself. Yet it’s also the only genre that really goes to these places. The two so often go hand in hand, yet are always so far apart.

Yet instead of running from it, instead of denying it, the band embrace this central contradiction wholeheartedly. Their music is dark, oppressive, and brutal – but also relentlessly energetic, knowingly pompous, and impressively self-aware. If Tetragrammaton shows us anything, it’s that The Monolith Deathcult understand one simple truth – “It’s a joke, it’s all a fuckin’ joke…” Continue reading »

Apr 162013

We have been looking forward to the release of many albums in 2013, but perhaps none so eagerly as Tetragrammaton, the new sonic assault by the 6th most popular and almost-award-winning Supreme Avantgarde Deathmetal band from Kampen, The Netherlands, THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT. In the hope of earning a swift and relatively painless death when the album is unleashed, we dutifully featured the lyric video for the album’s first single, “Gods Amongst Insects”. To hedge our bets even further, we now present to you our humble and barely articulate feature about the album’s second song.

The song’s title is “Todesnacht von Stammhein”, and like much of the music TMDC creates, a history lesson lies behind the lyrics. The title refers to the so-called “Death Night of Stammhein” (October 18, 1977) on which three members of the Red Army Faction imprisoned in Stammheim Prison were found dead in their cells. You can learn more about these events via this link to The Font of All Human Knowledge. There will not be a test — at least not one that we will administer — but when the album comes out on May 10 (May 14 in the U.S.), assimilation of such learning may be all that stands between you and the uncontrollable destruction of the Deathcult.

Shit, where was I?

Oh yeah . . . these dudes have a new song available for listening. Continue reading »

Feb 262013

(Andy Synn provides the following introduction to the brand new lyric video by NCS favorites The Monolith Deathcult. “Gods Amongst Insects” just premiered on Terrorizer and it will appear on the band’s new album TETRAGRAMMATON, which will be out on May 10 (May 14 in North America) on Season of Mist.) 

Peace… no peace…

Thus begins the new Monolith Deathcult album. An album which covers religious warfare, genocide, and all the horrors humanity inflicts upon itself. As well as the looming horror of an unstoppable alien invasion. That’s right, there’s definitely some inspiration from Independence Day in there too.

“Gods Among Insects” is, fittingly enough, an absolute monster of a track. A sprawling behemoth of huge, grinding riff-salvos, pulverising barrages of high-intensity drumming, berserker death vocals, and ominous symphonic shrouds.

The grandiose oration by one Peter Cullen – that’s right, the human incarnation of Optimus Prime – is both absurdly impressive and impressively absurd, fitting the band’s modus operandi to a T.

“I have existed from the morning of the universe
And I shall exist until the last star falls from the night
My ultimate peace would be granted by the destruction of all life,
Stars and nebulae, leaving only nothingess and void”

Continue reading »

Feb 112013

We continue with our close death watch on the The Monolith Deathcult, monitoring every emission from the backward slope of their dreaded metal spires, holding our breathes against the noxious fumes in wait for that awful day (May 10 in Europe) when their new album Tetragrammaton will be unleashed upon an unsuspecting public and the wailing and gnashing of teeth shall begin in earnest.

Just minutes ago our vigilant surveillance was rewarded by discovery of the first official Tetragrammaton video teaser, its introduction voiced by none other than Orion Pax and its imagery inscribed with excerpts from advance reviews by the likes of Lance Armstrong in the Pro Cycling Musical Niche Review Magazine.

Those with weak knees or delicate digestive tracts may wish to skip this video. Everyone else should watch it, and then double-check to make sure your armageddon bunkers are fully stocked with essentials such as smelling salts, anti-emetics, and spine-stiffeners. Continue reading »

Feb 042013

One of our number has heard The Monolith Deathcult’s new album, Tetragrammaton. Not wanting to say too much at this early stage of the ramp-up to its release, we present only this brief diagnostic analysis:

As food for the brain, The Monolith Deathcult’s new album Tetragrammaton is a well-balanced diet.

Most immediately noticeable, it includes a super-sized helping of nutrition for the cerebellum and the brain stem, those parts of the organ responsible for motor control and involuntary physical activity such as headbanging and fist-pumping. It’s loaded with industrial strength pneumatic grooves. It also includes breakdowns. We think they threw in the kitchen sink, too.

Tetragrammaton also feeds the deep limbic system, which plays a vital role in setting a person’s emotional state. The album contains moments of high drama and even darkness. It also provokes impulses of aggression, as in the desire to tear shit up. And it also tickles the funny bone.  That’s in the brain, isn’t it?  Two words: Optimus Prime. Continue reading »