Ethereal Architect's second album is aptly titled. Monolith is an immense work, and I'm not just speaking to the length which, with bonus materials, is nearly 70 minutes. How these four musicians pack so much into a song is rather impressive.
Of course, everything's bigger in Texas, the band's home. While the songs can be elaborate and technical, as Bardo Becoming and Obsidian assure, the can also rather catchy and melodic as Mercury and Revolutions prove. The strength here is the strong compositions, the breathtaking guitar work of David Glass, and the powerful and versatile vocal style of Adam Contreras. If you get the digital version of Monolith, you'll find Oceanos, sung in Spanish and touches of Latin flair. You'll also hear some of this in the guitar outro for Mercury. Of interest is the cover of Jimmy Webb's MacArthur Park, butchered by actor Richard Harris, but made famous by Andy Williams. The song, while having atrocious metaphors for lyrics, has a great melody and arrangement. Ethereal Architect makes a prog metal version work, and makes it entertaining.
At the end of the day, Ethereal Architect's Monolith is simply very well composed and executed progressive metal, without conforming to traditional expectations. Easily recommended.