Review: “Ex-Mortis” EP by Monument of A Memory

Bergen County, New Jersey’s Monument of A Memory have been cutting their path since 2014 with a trio of EP’s under their collective belts. Their 2015 debut “Dreamwalker” was followed by the equally impressive “Catharsis” in 2016 with both efforts taking Metalcore to near Deathcore levels. So where does 2018 find the band and what does “Ex-Mortis” have in store for us? Is the fact that the band are still unsigned an issue?

“Cold Eyes” starts with ambient synths and melodic guitar work that builds into blast beat drumming and some choice lead guitar work. Drummer Dylan Newhouse gives us some powerhouse work and the ice cold, clean and crisp production is apparent from the beginning. Breakdowns inter-spliced with lead work bridge verse and chorus while Tommy Gehringer’s unclean range gives any modern Deathcore vocalist a run for their money. The inclusion of a guitar solo is almost a surprise but a classy touch. “Elizabeth” fuses modern Metalcore guitars delivered at faster pace with a chorus that wants to touch those clean vocals but instead pulls back after just a few words to allow the uncleans to smash through with breakdowns. Buried electronics close out the track and act to clear the path like a machete through jungle leaves into “House of Glass”, which features a guest vocal from Brain Wille of Currents. Perhaps a timely cameo but rather than play to his strengths, they play to Monument Of A Memory’s with driving Deathcore guitar work from Kevin Chapilliquen and Eren Guney. Once again, the melody comes from a guitar passage rather than a clean vocal, while Tommy Gehringer’s uncleans provide the onslaught. Brian Wille’s harsh almost spoken word part adds a depth and eerie dark edge over synth chimes to the otherwise brutal song. The call back to the chorus through a sequence of nuanced guitar riffage is a headbangers joy. “We the People” is a bludgeoning affair that smashes out plenty of circle pit worthy guitars while also delivering a brutal and socially aware lyric. Josh Correa’s driving bass sound serves to underpin the whole song, providing a constant while the drums sound off like canons against a backdrop of swirling guitars. “Ex-Mortis” takes a slow build through a verse before the guitars kick in for the pre-chorus. The use of synths to add an extra layer of sound across the bridge is a in interesting touch before the drop to melodic guitars in an almost Metallica inspired break before the rise back for the final chorus. Monument Of A Memory have continued to build their sound with the fine new material on display here, slick production, quality musicianship and decent song writing skills are all on show, while the whole package is delivered with the energy and that leaves you wanting more. Someone needs to get these dudes signed up and get a full length on the table. They’ve got the skills, they just need the backing. [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Cold Eyes
  2. Elizabeth
  3. House of Glass (ft. Brain Wille of Currents)
  4. We the People
  5. Ex-Mortis

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