Job : It’s time for the new Monuments record, the modern metalcore band from the UK under the reigns of guitarists John Browne and Olly Steele and with former Periphery vocalist Chris Barretto. To me personally, they’ve only ever been able to peek above the mediocrity that is this genre just slightly and I’m afraid that ‘Phronesis’ hasn’t changed my mind on that. Where their previous record ‘The Amanuensis’ from 2014 was a concept record, ‘Phronesis’ seems to want to take things easy – 10 short modern metalcore songs revolving around djenty grooves and melodic hooks in the choruses.
Soooo, nothing we haven’t heard before, is what I’m implying. The ad nauseam copying so prevalent in this genre from bands that want to be the next Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, Periphery or like their forefathers Meshuggah a little too much has been out of hand for a long time now. It’s because of this trend that Monuments isn’t doing anything (and I mean literally anything) fresh on ‘Phronesis’. Sure, the 0-1-0-0-1-0-1 kind of chugging stays relatively low key on this record and in comparison, most of the riffs are decently structured. However, the lack of overall dynamics makes for a watery, sloppy result that never shows any balls. On top of that, the lyrics are laughable. “I fuck around with you constantly / honestly / leave me the fuck alone” in ‘Stygian Blue’? Come on, dude.
In the end, ‘Phronesis’ gives us a Monuments that refuses to innovate, and seems to be scared to take the next step. This record will not catapult them towards the next level and I’m fairly confident in saying that it will just speak to the already existing fans. I’m starting to wonder when this shrinking niche of a market starts seeing the melancholic dread that’s this meandering mediocrity that has to blanket every single release.