Maybe it's because all the good band names are already taken or perhaps this scribe is just too green minded for his own good, but calling your band Netherbird just rubs him the wrong way. Netherbird? What the hell is a Netherbird? Your penis?
Ahem! Of course, names that are far more ridiculous have given birth to great albums. Too bad for Netherbird, a great album Monument Black Colossal is not. Solid, not magnificent. Why? The songs don't really go the distance and compel a few extra listens, which is a major downer. A shining example of this weakness becomes apparent at the onset. The opening track Looming Majesty may be a helluva cool intro, loaded with Gothic ambience and Halloween sound effects. However, by the time White Noise Sky in Overdrive launches the ensuing black metal dross chills your appetite for a thrashing good time. Rather unfortunate, you might say. Thank ye infernal gods because Netherbird then has the sense to incorporate other elements into their repertoire. Without the bits of thrash metal and lower register death grunts here, Monument Black Colossal would be a colossal disappointment. This scribe's wit kills him. Ha.
Seriously, now, the meat of the album is plentiful enough for a full listen from start to finish. The truth is White Noise Sky isn't that bad, and it's got some choice guitar solos for extra listening pleasure. The best cuts on the album are A Shadow in the Garden, Strindbergian fire, The Weight of Vapour, At the Crystal Artery, and Across the Chasm. That's already most of the track list. In fact, Monument Black Colossal is a good album except for the black metal. Yeah, this has to be the major flaw here. It's the band's lapses into the evil stuff which ruins a great progressive extreme metal opus.
This means you shouldn't avoid Netherbird like the plague. The quintet, who are involved in other bands (drummer Erik Rojas pounds the kit for thrashers Decadence), have enough potential to outlast cheeky reviews like this one. In summation, Monument Black Colossal gets a well-deserved recommendation. Is it an essential purchase though? Nope.
Netherbird's Monument Black Colossal gets a well-deserved recommendation. Is it an essential purchase though? Nope.
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