Alustrium – A Monument to Silence (Review)

Alustrium - A Monument to SilenceThis is the third album from US death metal band Alustrium.

Here we have 65 minutes of progressive technical death metal. Reading that statement you may be expecting a certain version of that style, but it’s likely that Alustrium will surprise; A Monument to Silence is much more melodic and emotionally resonant than many technical bands achieve or even aspire to.

Alustrium are a band that know how to play, and adherents of technical wizardry will find much to become absorbed in across these 10 tracks. However, the band’s technical skill is kept in check by their songwriting; progressive structure and a firm grasp of melody mean that these songs have a lot more to offer than pure technical workouts. The band’s technicality may underpin everything, but it’s not the driving force here. Operating from a surprisingly emotive base, Alustrium deliver music that covers a range of areas, from brutal aggression, to colourful melody, to rich atmosphere, and more.

A Monument to Silence reaches beyond pure death metal. It’s a thoroughly modern release at any rate, but the fact that promo blurb mentions bands like Between the Buried and Me and Black Crown Initiate is no surprise when you listen to what Alustrium have produced here. I can see why these bands have been mentioned, but I’m pleased by the fact that these reference points are just that, and Alustrium have found their own voice on A Monument to Silence. Oh, and there’s next to no clean singing here either. (Of the vocals that are here, they’re almost uniformly aggressive and harsh, but not monolithic; like the music, there’s a great variety of sounds and styles used, to great effect).

A Monument to Silence is a colossal album that takes the listener on a journey into wide-ranging extreme metal vistas. With Alustrium as your guide you will see many startling and breathtaking sights.

An exceptional album. Very highly recommended.

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