Monumentomb – Ritual Exhumation [EP]

“Ritual Exhumation”
Old school death metal
Released 11 August 2014
Via Metal Music Austria

Monumentomb - Ritual Exhumation

Seriously? This is Monumentomb’s first recording? You’ve got to be f***ing kidding me! Musically speaking, Ritual Exhumation is so well written, and so well produced, it’s worthy of a rising name on their third or fourth offering! The riffing is actually giving me shudders up and down the spine. Remember a little album called Black In Mind by a certain German band going by the name Rage? If not, you should really go check that out. I loved it in the nineties, and I still do now. The package herein isn’t a carbon copy of that sound by any stretch, but it encapsulates the drive, bite and enthusiasm in the same way. It’s also a potential future classic of the genre, showing all the early signs of greatness in the making.

This debut EP is packed to the grimace with tooth-splitting aggression, and it is utterly brutal: not in the overly technical understanding of the word many in modern metal have come to embrace – more the slap-me-silly-with-a-metal-stick-that-was-beefy school of metal. Washed in Carcass and Destruction, towelled down with Entombed’s Left Hand Path, and spritzed with a mild spatter of the heavier end of turn-of-the-century Swe-death, this is fresh and fit to rip you a new one!

The band originally self-released this EP earlier in 2014 in a digital only format, but due to some fantastic and well deserved positive press, it is now out in physical form from Metal Music Austria. Although the line-up features a former member of Spearhead (no, not the Michael Franti band), it is far more focussed on the death metal character of extreme music, foregoing the white-noise black metal of the aforementioned group.

Their willingness to let songs peak and trough with a natural flow does them great favours in allowing their song-writing talent and sensibilities towards organic, musical texture shine through. Sure, there are plenty of blasts and d-beats that could have been half pinched from the first two Haunted albums, but these are masterfully counterbalanced with moments of treacly doom to shake the Pallbearer tree for more riffs.

If there’s one thing that draws this release back down a little, it’s the consistently sparse vocals, which also lack a little something in diversity… until you hit the middle of penultimate track Perpetual Execution Torment, and are treated to a glimpse of what the future might hold as this band grows. It would be great to see more of this ingenuity displayed throughout, but like it says at the start, this is Monumentomb’s introduction, and as far as entrances go, this one is a bit of a show-stopper!


Paul Macmillan

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