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The Threefold Goat of Midas - 90%

Mailman__, September 11th, 2018

Four years after their successful "In Dark Purity," Monstrosity hit the books once again to write their fourth full-length. This time around, they have a whole new lineup. Keeping original member Lee Harrison and recruitee Jason Avery, they hired Tony Norman and Sam Molina (both of Terrorizer) to replace guitarist Jason Morgan.  They also got Michael Poggione (Capharnaum, Lecherous Nocturne) on board, replacing bassist Kelly Conlon. Despite all of the changes, Monstrosity kept their sound ferociously technical.

However, they lost the part of their music that kept up its vitality: the harmonization. Sure, this album still has some really good riffs and sequences, but there is nothing on here quite like what was on "In Dark Purity." With a new lineup comes a new style, but this is not to say that their new sound is bad. In fact, it's very reminiscent of "Millennium," so it's isn't an entirely new sound. Also, the technical stamina of this new lineup, while not as as good as their lineup in 1996, is still more proficient than their previous album.

This being said, the riffs on "Rise to Power" are full of fresh ideas and technicality. However, there isn't anything on here that is memorable in a good way. That is, after the first listen. After a few listens, tracks that start to stand out are the title track, "From Wrath to Ruin," and "A Casket for the Soul." These are memorable in particular because of their riffs. There are a few other great sequences on this album, but these three songs are my top three. However, after my first listen, the only things that stuck with me were the instrumental "The Fall of Eden," a first for Monstrosity, and the unnecessary outro to "Shadow of Obliteration."

Twelve minutes may seem like an intimidating length for a song, and that's because it is. Placing a song that long at the end of an album is quite risky, especially if the song is only four minutes of actual music and eight minutes of wailing, incoherent guitars. I mean, whose idea was it to place this song last on the album, let alone include this outrageous outro? At least make it last less than a minute instead of eight. Have you any decency? Other than the outro on the album leaving the listener with a terrible impression of this album, the rest of it is well done. Although it takes a few listens to actually get anything valuable from it, "Millennium" was like that too, and everyone (myself included) seems to love that album. Overall, I think that Norman and Molina give this band a good sound. Lineup changes are risky, but Monstrosity, despite having so many of these changes, seem to pull them off every time.

"Rise to Power" is yet another comeback album from this band that does not disappoint. It's fresh, fierce, technical, and those riffs get stuck in your head. The only problem I have with the album is the last track, but everything else is perfectly fine.

Overall Rating: 90%

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