Track Review: “Devil’s Call” by Monastery

Having released debut EP “Rapture” in September 2022, female fronted Midlands quartet Monastery are already on the hunt once more, offering up new single “Devil’s Call” as a preview of what’s to come with their as yet untitled and undated sophomore EP. That is said to be something more conceptual in nature, lyrically exploring concepts of death and afterlife. Formed in 2021 by by Liv Gardner (guitar and vocals), Josh Sellis (lead guitar), Kyle Smith (drums) and Lewis Guest (bass), they cite influences in everything from Hardcore to Thrash and Blues, loving nothing more than to blur the lines between genres and create as they see fit.

In truth the bands debut EP owes more to the Doom Metal fuzz of Black Sabbath and Candlemass than one might care to imagine, throwing genre shapes in feedback with a certain raw live feel to it, while pushing the boundaries into Sludge fuelled tones. So while they may describe themselves as a Progressive Metal act who like to dabble in elements of other genres but new single “Devil’s Call” offers something entirely different. Bluesy with hints of Stoner Fuzz Rock and influences from Monster Magnet and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, the sultry vocal performance from vocalist and guitarist Liv Gardner is as distinctive as it is ear catching. Sounding like a confession to whiskey drinking debauchery of a night gone by, the Devil calls from the bottom of the bottle and is worshipped by the almighty riff here. A mid cut rise to something a little Trashier is slickly transitioned, adding some panache with a confident swagger that simply says… we can do anything we put our minds to. Compared to the earlier material, this sounds far more refined, distilled down the bare essentials, the moonshine enough to get you buzzing on a single shot rather than needing three or four to reach the swagger. So while they claim heavier influences, Gardner embodies the spirit of My Ruin frontwoman Tairrie B with her clean vocal, the only question is whether she has an unclean growl to match and if she would dare to use it [7/10]

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