[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]
The works of Monolithe have always encompassed a grandeur of dramatic dimensions. The French project transposes in a highly chromatic musical form the cathartic moment of a meeting between the observer and the immensity of the cosmos. The listener’s attention is slowly deviated from a single object into the grasp of a colossal overture that opens multiple planes of experience. All his energies and intellect are absorbed into a particular space of such immensity that terrestrial senses are but an irrelevant piece of the common state. “Synoecist”, the opening track form Epsilon Aurigae, is a Greek word meaning cohabitation in the same space that, apart from its historical connotation, suggests an integration of the being as part of a cosmopolis, while at the same time approaching the configuration of the binary system of Epsilon Aurigae. The musical technique serves the request of the larger picture: they choose heavy pale colors projected on the radiant surface of an adventurous doom-metal, with strenuous tones and brilliant sound exploitations.
The star named Epsilon Aurigae, located in the constellation Auriga, is considered an enigma: a binary star, one giant star that is periodically eclipsed by another object of vaster proportions. The next extract from Monolithe’s record, “TMA-0” echoes a voyage around this second mysterious star that eclipses the mother star for two years and encircles it with a ring of thick dust. And what a force have these artists in their use of amazing chromatic and delicate accords, together with a calm transparent emotion before the unspeakable scenery they see with their mind’s eye. Like a painter, the composers reproduce with great accuracy every detail that the imagination fancies, using perhaps photography as a support, or simply travelling eyes-closed at light-years distance.
Monolithe have so far created four albums (and two equally valuable Eps); muscular, quite progressive, more aggressive in their doom-metal approach. They have evolved at their own pace and set their own standards in the genre, observing the scene and the cosmos from a distance. They have taken from themselves the modality of rendering nuances, mastering and acquiring new techniques and new colors. “Everlasting Sentry”, the song that closes this opus, resumes how they relate to the metal scene, and macrocosmically to the universe, as mere observers. This scene fascinates with memorable riffs extending slowly towards the horizon, glorifying in beautiful symphonic passages a vision of the cosmos as the dwelling of man.
Epsilon Aurigae is released by Debemur Morti in digifile for 6.66 euro, not surprisingly, particularly for numerologists, since the star’s other name comes from the Arabic Almaaz, meaning goat. The finest cosmic metal under the auspices of the goat.