Monumental Torment
Element of Chaos

Feast your ears on Russia’s answer to Brain Drill, otherwise known as Monumental Torment. Yes, there is an element of simplification in that description, but it is far from inaccurate. More importantly as far as Element of Chaos is concerned, it is anything but derogatory.

What we have here is an album spilling over the sides with brutal tech-death psychosis, as created by guitarist/drum-programmer Artem Gultaev and bassist/sampler/pianist Ioann Komkov (collectively, the brains of the operation), as well as Phoenix, AZ growler Lloyd Moore, Jr. Since “pianist” in the foregoing sentence surely piqued your interest, we should address it first. Komkov does indeed tickle and slam the ivories on a few racks, though only during select parts, including the frantic introduction to “Mental Slavery,” the album’s standout track. And it works well within the context of these furious, blast-happy forays into technical death madness. In fact, it makes one think of the creativity of Fleshgod Apocalypse, even though the Italians’ approach to composition is nearly untouchable.

As for the rest of Element of Chaos, there really isn’t anything about which to complete if you’re a fan of acts like the above mentioned Brain Drill, as well as Origin and Beneath the Massacre. The styles of all three bands figure prominently in the formula. Intricate, punishing, and largely devoid of melody (the solo counterpoint in “Paradox” aside), Element of Chaos is smartly written in a way that for the most part avoids monotony. In addition to “Mental Slavery,” a handful of songs are notably strong in this regard, including “Slaughter House” (great mid-tempo, tech-flecked chug break), opener “The Nameless One,” and the unrelenting “Lethargic Sleep.” It is also one of the few albums of its kind I’ve heard recently that uses the now commonplace technique of arpeggio sweeping in ways that more often than not enhance the song.

So ok, maybe the tech-death sticklers cold lodge a few complaints, such as those moments in which the drum programming becomes glaringly mechanistic or the fact that closer “Last Voice of Future” is four minutes of creepy ambiance, and I wouldn’t disagree. All I seek to convey is that Element of Chaos is a pretty damn devastating tornado of tech-death. Check out the Myspace tracks and decide for yourself. Isn’t that why we included it?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
April 18th, 2011


  1. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    this is good stuff, i wish it had more of the piano/ orchestra craziness like Scrambled Defuncts. yeah- when i was mentally writing this review Brain Drill and Origin came right to mind

  2. Commented by: Clauricaune

    Good review. I’m really digging this album, and I agree with Erik: I also would have liked to see more piano and chords in there (although not like in Scrambled Defuncts: that’s a hard and a bit of an annoying listen for me).

  3. Commented by: Reignman35

    Good stuff but being a drummer I just can’t listen to any band that uses a drum machine… Kills it for me every time.

  4. Commented by: Coles

    love this record, I wish I had it on CD. can’t find it in the states anywhere.

    any review coming for Near Death Condition?

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