Only available to us lucky sods in Europe, which makes a pleasant change from the yanks getting all the good stuff, ‘Beyond God and Elvis’ is an altogether far too brief sample of what we can expect on From Monument to Masses‘ new album, due in January. Two fresh, enlightening tracks and two remixes doesn’t sound like much, but it’s more than plenty to whet an eager appetite.
The guitars on the title track are joyful and playful, running around eachother in an innocent manner that means the sombre vocal quote near the end – “this is a machine that don’t give a shit” comes as a bit of a surprise, sneaking up upon you with a tantalisingly dark alter-ego.
The remixes are imaginative as well. I’m never usually a fan of such things, much preferring the original artist’s intentions to shine through, but the Kino-Fist Score Remix takes that brief moment of fear in the original and magnifies it with delicately panicked strings. It reminded me of those string quartet versions of metal albums – the natural beauty of a violin is the sheer sense of impending doom it can signal, and it adds a great, chilling atmosphere to the track.
The second remix exacerbates the machine however – opening with what sounds like the original Metal Gear Solid title music, the heavily distorted vocal sample now sounds vehemently evil, the offspring of Jigsaw from the Saw films and The T-1000.
‘The Role Traversal’ treads more familiar post-rock grounds. A man’s voice, ruing the change of the world plays over a desolate background of Mogwai inspired guitars and faint knocks of wood. It’s despondent and miserable, but it has that unique ability of instrumental music to offer some kind of hope through the gloom.
From Monument to Masses have ensnared me with this release. It’s short lived and fleeting, but the atmosphere and story this little sample relays are fascinating. It may not be an essential purchase, but based on this single alone the new album certainly will be.
Review originally published on Sonic Dice.