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'The Amanuensis'
(Century Media Records)
Release Date: 23rd June 2014

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus


Not to be confused with the Italian-based synth-pop group, this London-based brutal and fierce five-piece crush the ear canal with some relentless and pummelling force. To call this simply Progressive Metal is doing these guys a disservice as there is so much emotion and intensity rolling around between the members of the band; you have to be in a dark and edgy mood to keep up with them.

With a line-up consisting of Chris Barretto on versatile vocals and credited for some sax', John Browne on guitar alongside the other guitarist Olly Steeleon plus bassist Adam Swan in conjunction with drummer and sampler Mike Malyan sorting out the rhythm section, this juggernaut really strives to expand on what was initiated with their previous album 'Gnosis'.

Lyrically this album tackles the theme of the Samsara Cycle, and as the guitarist Browne informs: "The cyclical existence of life that we are all bound to. Chris has written an entire story around the lyrics. Maybe that will see the light one day! It's the story of Samsara."

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Crossover appeal isn't very likely being brutally honest despite the subtle melodies they smother within the technical expertise of their performances. I think that's it really, the playing is refined and the precision is undeniable. Melodies weave in and out of the darkness they produce when they're in full flow, but it feels suffocated overall.

Bands that produce the technically brilliant yet complex arrangements with vocals on top that bark, growl and spit fury are always going to appeal to a specific audience.

I appreciate what they're doing but if you're in the mood for something light and fluffy, with plenty of instant cheese, then avoid like the plague. 'Quasimodo' is playing right this moment as I share these thoughts with you and it is quite something to process. This type of exhibition is the epitome of intense.

Highlights include 'Origin Of Escape', 'Saga City' and 'Garden Of Sankhara' all of which share their versatile approach to clean guitar mixing it up with distortion.

When the band talk openly about vocal hooks and how much fun it all is, I think I'm on a separate page, maybe even a separate book as I hear clever and constantly evolving melodies and layers of idea all sharing the skeletal framework of artistic expression.

Sometimes providing brief outbursts of Metalcore and at other times restrained complex emotive moments of what feel like introspection. Monuments have produced a very intense piece of work which will be well received by audiences who love their brutal and technical. I couldn't say it any clearer really, if you're of a fragile disposition then avoid; simples.

I, The Creator
Origin Of Escape
Garden Of Sankhara
The Alchemist
Saga City
I, The Destroyer

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