MONOLITHE – Nebula Septem
This 7-track slice of darkness and cosmic despair entitled "Nebula Septem" by the French ensemble known as Monolithe is a morose odyssey that you ougth to embark on if you consider yourself a moody sucker. Utterly dark and poisonous (funeral) doom metal with quite a few progressive touches to it is the order of the day here. The seven compositions all last seven minutes each, which is rather cool, I think.
The music is a sweeping, majestic treat at times, but with a claustrophobic and dense quality to it that makes it somewhat challenging to absorb and digest. Boasting strong melodies and cleverly conceived arrangements with depth and texture to them, "Nebula Septem" is a bleak and oppressive affair yet strangely exquisite and beautiful at times too.
The superb use of keyboards adds a haunting and ethereal atmosphere to the proceedings that brings to mind the first few albums by veteran acts such as Saturnus, November’s Doom, Skepticism, and My Dying Bride, but Monolithe seems to have stumbled on a sound and a musical trademark of sorts that they can rightfully claim as their own. Not every tune stands out, but the album as a whole is a coherent and cohesive effort. If anything, you need to check the songs named "Coil Shaped Volutions" and "Fathom the Deep" out as they are a masterful display of what Monolithe are capable of summoning from beyond the spheres of human existence.