The Monolith Deathcult  
V3 - Vernedering

Let’s just get this out of the way quickly. If you’re not into some tomfoolery mixed into your metal, then you’re probably not going to enjoy this album. If you’re familiar with their last few releases, essentially anything after Apotheosis, you know what I mean. These cheeky Dutchmen know how to bring the metal, but they will also probably make you scratch your head a time or two.

“Infowars” is the opening track/intro. It’s pretty clear why as there’s a decent Alex Jones impression to end the track. So, yeah, you know, tomfoolery. Luckily, it doesn’t last long. You already know these guys don’t take themselves too seriously.

If you were looking for affirmation on that point, the first official track, “Connect the Goddamn Dots,” should drive it home with the name alone. The track itself has a mid-tempo, industrial stomp, a plethora of Alex Jones, or should I say “Alex Jones” samples interspersed, with barely any other kinds of words/vocals in sight. They’re in, you just might miss them since they’re mixed kind of low and sparse.

The next one, though, “Gone Sour, Doomed,” which has been released as a single, has some blast beats, galloping guitars, and deep death metal vocals, so we’re on a better path than track 1, eh? The lead guitar section a little over 2 minutes in creates a segue into something that sounds much like an old fighting game soundtrack (Mortal Kombat anyone?). The most interesting section of the track falls near the end with some keys in the background, making for a decent, although lengthy second track.

The title track, “Vernedering,” is next. It follows a formula mostly like the previous. It’s lengthy, clocking in at over 6 minutes as well. The great lead work here makes me wonder why they don’t utilize it more often. The last minute plus follows an almost symphonic industrial stomp. Out of all the tracks so far, despite it not being entirely different from the previous, it’s an example of the style done well, and the best track through the first half.

The following track, “Blood Libels,” begins with an “Alex Jones” impersonation that, despite its obvious attempt at a humorous inclusion, points to some self-awareness on the band’s part. Namely, that to an outside, it can seem that perhaps they’re arrogant in their style, thinking it’s better than it is. However, they know it, so the jokes on you… Or us…? I guess. Otherwise, this track should just be an interlude.

If you thought track 7, “They Drew First Blood” should start with a Rambo sample, well, you’re in luck! It also includes some references in the lyrics to the favorite conspiracy of many Americans who happen to support our most recent former POTUS. I must admit it’s not a bad track, but as an American who does not support that movement, nor the former POTUS, the references sadden and tire me. It saddens me that people are gullible enough to believe it, and tires me because I wish it would just go away. Whew.

To cap us off, the only reason to include the final track, the name of which I will do my best not to butcher, is because of the last couple of minutes, which can only be referred to as a rehearsal for the Alex Jones impersonator. This is actually somewhat humorous, but it does go on too long. Much like this album.

Sigh… Big. Fucking. Sigh. Look, I like these guys and have enjoyed everything from them I have heard previously. However, on this one, because of the Alex Jones impersonator, despite the fact that it does in fact have its moments, feels like low hanging fruit, and this is from someone who opposes him entirely. I’ve just heard him too much and I don’t want… I don’t want this band to leave their quirkiness behind, however. It’s what makes them unique and enjoyable to at least give a cursory listen. However, I do wish they’d just get back to death metal if it means using Alex Jones. I hate to say it, but this is a big, fat “meh” for me, but not to be dismissed entirely if one is a fan of their recent endeavors.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
May 11th, 2021

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