As far as I can tell Rogga Johansson lives in a studio and has been recording a new Swedish death metal album every 3-4 months since 1998. Because he is involved in so many groups with mildly similar sounds Revolting has shaped itself along with his interests and ‘Monolith of Madness’ is somewhat of a return to the straight forward semi-melodic tremolo riff dominated old school Swedish death metal they debuted with on ‘Dreadful Pleasures’. Beyond that first album ‘The Terror Threshold’ was more sophisticated a la early 90’s Napalm Death, ‘In Grisly Rapture’ and ‘Hymns of Ghastly Horrors’ were increasingly brutal like his adjacent work with Putrevore… their discography across six albums has been a mixed bag of Dismember riffs and a fair amount of classic Swedish death metal expression. It all seemed to come full circle on ‘Visages of the Unspeakable’ but I’d say ‘Monolith of Madness’ smooths out the forgettable spots of the previous record and has well-improved production.
I suppose it is important to delineate death metal that focuses on melodic riff driven songs from the more obvious Gothenburg melodeath side of things. This album straddles a line between 90’s death n’ roll Dismember, Unleashed‘s lesser known album ‘Victory’ and above all closely resembles groups like Revel in Flesh and Entrails. A key difference with this record is that melodic tremolo riffs and lead guitars highlight almost all of the tracks here whereas most Revel in Flesh albums are primarily filler with a couple great tracks. It is far more laid back than recent Paganizer records but has that same big, clean Swedish death metal sound; easily the Revolting album with the most clarity of recording.
Upon repeated listens the melodic riffs and lead guitars are what kept the momentum of ‘Monolith of Madness’ more than any other Revolting album since ‘Dreadful Pleasures’. The urge to leave it on repeat rather than move on to other things for a couple afternoons was indicative of some greater improvement for this project. Many of Johannson’s projects don’t seem to get enough care and if nothing else I’m sort of gunning for him to drop Ribspreader and focus on the melodic edge of Revolting instead because it is unique compared to most projects he’s involved in. The higher quality of this record meets the high bar of Paganizer‘s last recording and the catchy riffing and semi-melodic approach makes for the band’s best complete album in several years. For a project that has long been ‘almost there’ in terms of hitting upon greatness, this is a highly listenable small step up.
|Released||January 19, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp!||Follow Revolting on Facebook|
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