Monumentomb have recently released their début EP Ritual Exhumation. This is a glorious Old-School Death Metal release that manages to seriously impress, especially for such a new band. I decided to get a bit more info on this rough gem…
Tell us about Monumentomb and where you came from?
We’re based in Kent in the south east of England. We formed less than a year ago, to start from the beginning: I was drinking at a metal pub in my local town of Maidstone. The Beherit shirt I was wearing prompted conversation very quickly when Alex noticed it, and we’ve been good mates since. Then after a long time later, years in fact we met again and decided to form a band with our strong agreement in musical tastes. At the same place a little later, I met Gaius while drinking at a mutual friends birthday, we got totally hammered and stayed in touch. Since Alex left the band earlier this month to concentrate on Infected Dead, Gaius has now moved over to guitar duties. I met Lee at a local gig that Alex was playing with his band Infected Dead. He heard that Lee was a decent and freed-up drummer and introduced us that night, we’ve been doing Monumentomb ever since.
What are your influences?
The primary influence is old-school death metal, I listen to a lot of 80’s metal ranging from Yngwie Malmsteen to Cacophony, Razor, Racer X, Infernal Majesty, Sacrifice etc. Bands specifically that we take a lot of influence from are Bolt Thrower, Autopsy, Grave, Dismember, Morbid Angel, Carcass, early Entombed/Obituary/Death to name a few. Our influences always have a bearing on our development as players. Lee is ever aiming to reach the same ability level as George Kollias and Gaius listens to a lot of technical metal too, which constantly fuels improvement individually, as well as overall as a band.
Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Vinnie Moore, Tony MacApline and Paul Gilbert Racer X era. Also been listening to ‘The Cleansing’ by Nominon which I highly recommend, it has a great atmosphere and production. Morbid and filthy sounding release and has to be one of their best to date. And have been re-visiting Beneath the Remains, simply, it’s an album that never leaves my CD rotation.
How did you decide on the style of Death Metal that you wanted to play – what appeals about the Death Metal sound?
I’ve always had a leaning toward the Old-School sounding bands for as long as I can remember. The feeling and readiness of the style always screamed out to me and stood out over the extremely clean sounding releases, the style always deserves preservation in my opinion. We’re not aiming to be an overly technical band, as the fundamental idea at inception was to maintain the essential feeling and simplicity of most of the old-school death metal bands. The paramount appeal to me is the sheer aggression, the riffs, imagery and relative versatility of the genre.
Non-standard for Death Metal but judged perfectly – tell us about the clean vocals in Perpetual Execution Torment
They were performed by a good mate of mine – Chris Simmons who plays in a well-known band from our area called Wretched Soul, and exceeded the intentions of that section for the track. It was an idea that formed while watching the film Reanimator, not a direct attempt to sound like a revived corpse, but to bring a bit of humanity into the lyrical content of being reanimated as slave for the sole purpose to kill, to live and die constantly in complete agony forever.
Do you have any goals for Ritual Exhumation?
At the moment, it’s a case of getting the name around and networking as much as possible. We currently have ongoing dealings with a label to release it on CD and other formats, but that’s yet to be confirmed officially. Hopefully soon!
How did the recording process go?
The EP was recorded in 5 days, so bearing that in mind it was a very focussed effort, and fortunately with a very minimal amount of set-backs. As with most sessions the drums were recorded first within 2 10 hour days, then the guitars, bass and vocals were tracked. I was overseeing and present every day of the recording process , myself and the Engineer (Graham Waller) were totally wiped-out after that one week of little sleep and relentless concentration. We took a few moments to kick-back and chill with some music, food and some funny youtube stuff. The whole thing was a learning curve, and am very pleased with the results that were achieved within the time constraints.
Is there anything on the release you’re not satisfied with?
I think anyone who says they wouldn’t change anything in hindsight is kidding themselves, to be honest. You are your own worst critic, thus naturally there will be tiny changes you would make personally, for example a particular note on a solo, or a vocal or drum pattern you think could have been performed better. Unnoticeable to anyone else who listens to it but only picked-out by yourself really. So in essence, there are one or two things I would change but fortunately we can live with them!
Do you want to discuss any of the lyrics on the album and any themes/hidden meanings/etc. that might be there?
Yeah, sure. The lyrics are very straightforward, no hidden or subliminal meanings behind them as such. They’re simply inspired by morbid horror stories/movies and matching the visual themes for us. The themes are essentially all based around necromancy and death rituals/rites with an apocalyptic goal, with narratives and side-stories in between. A lot of inspiration comes from the Necronomicon by Lovecraft and related grimoires in terms of direct literary inspiration. I’m an avid fan of 80′s horror and splatter films and comics, it’s usually easy enough to write lyrics to these themes but it’s tough to attempt a new angle when a lot of the subject matter has been broached upon before. So just sticking to familiar territory lyrically just fits and suits the sound we’re trying to achieve.
What’s your songwriting process?
Majority of the writing in the early days started as just me and Alex bouncing ideas off each other and listening to a ton of music. The writing process sped-up dramatically when Lee joined, which then transpired into just the two of us meeting-up every weekend and continually getting a better sense of how the structures should form. The latter part of the writing process is still the same to this day, and we are currently writing new material too.
How do you see your songs/direction developing in the future?
In the near future, the direction intends to remain on the same plateau as the EP in terms of style, atmosphere and riffs. Still taking huge influence from classic releases and present releases too.
What does the future hold for Monumentomb?
At present, we are playing our first festival in August in the UK with Onslaught. After that, we have 2 London dates in September with Krow and October with Gravecrusher. And after that, we’re focussing on getting a full-length released and alongside that, we’re looking to and hoping to get onto a tour in the future as well. We intend to remain as an active live band as much as possible, so, touring is always at the forefront of our minds!