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A metropole of incest where the fornicators rule. - 85%

Diamhea, September 24th, 2014

What a change for the better! Trivmvirate is bound to elicit a menagerie of head-scratching amongst the more traditional crowd, but to be candid, we need more bands like The Monolith Deathcult, who have no qualms about mixing several far-removed and seldom-exploited genre pairings with stellar returns. In short, this record extracts the positive attributes from the band's earlier, decidedly more brutal death metal outputs like The White Crematorium (namely the massive production values and knuckle-cracking guitar tone) and slaps it all together with a proclivity for the avant-garde and abstract. It may not gel in a fully coherent manner on paper, but truly comes alive in practice.

To call Trivmvirate "symphonic" would be something of a misnomer, as these Dutchmen have no qualms about letting the guitars do the talking. However, between a variance of swirling tremolos and toppling note progressions one can find an abundance of electronic elements used in an ultimately refreshing manner. One minute you have repeating audio samples that sound closer to what one would expect from more garish industrial acts, the next the scope intensifies to the point of mental prostration. Excessive track length grants the band some flexibility in this regard, and they take advantage of it by cranking up the atmosphere during the lulls between the more traditional action. What perhaps impresses me the most is how convincingly massive this all sounds once everything is paired together. "Deus Ex Machina" is a pretty good example of what we have going on here, belying its nine-plus minute runtime by ducking and weaving back and forth between imperial-sounding choirs and the dissonant hostility of the riffs.

The band veers dangerously close to Dimmu Borgir territory at times, like on "I Spew Thee Out of My Mouth," but the riffs are always bubbling right under the surface, and their presence is never necessarily lost on the listener. Perhaps most impressive is the closer, "Den ensomme Nordens dronning," which is the longest track here by quite a margin, but takes great advantage of the extra runtime by driving home the aforementioned striking nature of the paradigm being employed here. The atmosphere oftentimes takes the more occult path, like on "Wrath of the Ba'ath," which features a lot of layered chanting and fucking awesome lyrics. It is honestly rather hypnotizing at times, and the shock of the transition back to crushing death metal is one of the more stellar examples of aural hypothermia I have experienced this year.

There is little narrative consistency, perhaps due to the The Monolith Deathcult's lack of adherence to anything approaching the traditional. One moment they are yammering about World War II history (Dekker is a history teacher, I get it) and the next the band attempts working damp sorcery and theurgy on virgin ears through a combination of antediluvian themes. I prefer the latter, and while some of the lyrics are in German as well, I wish the band would just stick to the esoteric and arcane, which they honestly excel at. I can see a lot of individuals instinctively grouping this with other symphonic death metal acts like Rotting Christ and Septic Flesh, but The Monolith Deathcult are quite simply out in their own little world here on Trivmvirate, and I don't necessarily think I would want it any other way. This is an album best tackled in large chunks or at once, but "Demigod" is the most accessible track and the one to check out first if you are unsure of whether or not this is for you. I enjoyed virtually all of it though, as it doesn't come much more massive-sounding than this. One of the best examples of symphonic death metal out there, frankly.

Welcome the the deathcult - 100%

gk, May 28th, 2008

The Monolith Deathcult or TMDC for short come from Holland and Trivmvirate is the band’s third and latest album. TMDC started life as a brutal death metal and they were all right as far as brutal death metal bands go but the music wasn’t particularly memorable and the band wasn’t really doing too much that was new. While the music was mostly Nile with some catchy grooves and the delivery was heavy as fuck the only reason I even checked out their last album was because of the band’s ridiculous and pompous image on the net.

Things have changed a bit on Trivmvirate though. The album starts with a techno beat and choral chanting and a slow build up till things explode with a Nile meets Gorefest sound. This in itself doesn’t sound very interesting but where the band gets you is in the inclusion of a full time keyboard and samples guy on this album. It’s the samples and the little embellishments that run through every song on this album that adds to the viciousness of it all. It helps quite a bit that TMDC are adept at coming up with some truly monstrous grooves as well. Album highlight for me is the relatively shorter Wrath of the Baath. A growled chant with no musical accompaniment starts proceedings before the band kicked my head in with some awesome brutal death metal in the best sense of the word. It’s a furious head kicking song that threatens to overwhelm you with its sheer ferocity and Slayer like chaos before coming up with an unbelievably heavy guitar groove that just bought a huge smile to my face. Kindertodeslied is a dark and uncomfortable listen that owes equally to Laibach, black metal and Nile while still remaining quite catchy. That’s the best thing about TMDC really. As heavy and layered as the music gets, the songs never descend to just white noise or even background music. Each song on this album has a memorable groove and a certain uniqueness to it that makes Trivmvirate an album that you can keep going back to.

There isn’t a bad song on this album and the band up the intensity to ridiculous levels like in the opening 4 minutes of Master of the Bryansk Forest before an orchestral sample comes in almost to sooth your slightly frayed nerves. The song ends with an ominous church bell and is followed by the short instrumental MMFD which is the calm before the storm of I Spew Thee Out Of My Mouth hits us. Another lengthy song that reminds me in parts of Nocturnus’ Ethereal Tomb but it’s again mostly brutal death metal with some superb work in the samples/ effects/ electronica department and a couple of insanely catchy and heavy as fuck riffs. Demigod reminds me a bit of Vader at the start but again this band just does the incredibly heavy but catchy as fuck riffing like very few bands before them. The song is immensely brutal and yet has enough moments to really get into your brain. The album closes with the epic Den Ensomme Nordens Dronning which at just over fourteen minutes is the longest song on the album and yet it’s credit to the genius of the band that it doesn’t seem anywhere close to being that long. The inclusion of a melodic clean vocal line is a welcome addition and the song has that whole epic feel in spades. Truly awesome.

TMDC has made a truly unique and exceptionally heavy album with Trivmvirate. It might not be for everybody and the traditional death metal fan might balk at the use of drum n bass, break beats and plenty of trance-y samples but if you like your death metal brutal as a baby in a blender and don’t mind the odd electronic touch then TMDC will tear you a new one.

All the big talk, the arrogance and the huge ego is backed up by some awesome talent. I honestly don’t see any other death metal band even coming close to this monster of an album this year.

Originally written for

Impressive, very impressive. - 95%

duncang, May 22nd, 2008

‘Brutal death metal’ is not as interesting a term as it once was. In fact, if you head to your friendly neighbourhood networking site Myspace and ask about brutal music, within a matter of minutes you will be assaulted by barrages of chugs, squeals and hair-care products. In times when brutal death metal can mean anything from Decrepit Birth to Enter Shikari, we should all be thankful that there are bands like The Monolith Deathcult out there. Hailing from Holland, TMDC sure know how to make music that could be compared to being slammed in the face by a double-decker bus. Their last two albums, ‘The Apotheosis’ and ‘The White Crematorium’ are masterclasses in clinical brutality. However, if they are comparable to being hit by a bus, ‘Trivmvirate’ could be compared to being spear-headed by a Boeing 747 mid-flight. While it still has that massively intense death metal leaning, ‘Trivmvirate’ has taken it to such an epic scale that I feel a flight across the world on the end of a plane is the only analogy that does it justice.

The way that these guys manage to get such a huge sound from what is quite a niche-filled genre is through heavy use of electronics and synthesisers. While this is not the first time that this idea has been touched upon, the seamless integration between these two extremes is truly astonishing. From blastbeats to choir chants, everything about ‘Trivmvirate’ just oozes with professionalism in songwriting and recording. There is not a minute where nothing new grabs your attention, and with every new development you think “now that was cool.” While some may say that some of the synth parts can feel tacked on, I don’t think there is anything that is overdone, even when combining ‘symphonic’ metal and brutal death metal, two genres that are flooded with lifeless and tiresomely pretentious bands as of late. There are really very few faults on this album, everything from the guitar tone to the drumming are executed with class and precision. The production is absolutely vital in making this album really stand out from leagues of imitators. Along with the aforementioned electronics, the mix of this album breathes fresh air into a tired sound.

With a name like ‘The Monolith Deathcult’, something grand is expected lyrically, and the themes of ‘Trivmvirate’ do not disappoint. The strong vocals feel like war cries describing many different historical and mythological events, which can get the listener embarrassingly pumped up for events that happened thousands of years ago. Though there is an air of pompousness in these words, they are written well and match the monolithic (ahem) atmosphere of the music through storytelling reminiscent of Bal-Sagoth, involving gripping tales of “Topzawa holocaust” and “Rex Ivdaeorvm”. Though I may not have a clue what they’re talking about half the time, it sure feels important and that alone puts it miles above most death metal lyrics.

‘Trivmvirate’ is a masterful work, filled with killer riffs, quality vocal lines and a fair dosage of drum & bass/trance music. It is hard to choose highlights as they all kick considerable amounts of ass, but the opening ‘Deus Ex Machina’, closing ‘Den Ensomme Nordens Dronning’ and midway interlude ‘M.M.F.D.’ are those that left my jaw attached to the floor for the longest time periods. Death metal fans will love this, and I daresay even an old-school purist could enjoy it. This is modern death metal at it's finest, and in an ocean of identical bands, The Monolith Deathcult emerges from the water as a colossal force to be reckoned with.

Originally written for review team.