From Monument To Masses

On Little Known Frequencies

Written by: PP on 25/03/2009 13:29:56

For the past few weeks I've been trying to wrap my head around post rockers From Monument To Masses and their first new album in 6 years, "On Little Known Frequencies". The melodic, math rock inspired guitar lines sound deceivingly simple for a post-rock band, so I figured I'd better give it some time to grow, given that albums in this genre almost always have incredible amounts of depth to reflect on upon further listening. Turns out I wasn't wrong; the beautifully melodic soundscapes created by the band are nothing short of astonishing.

Although post-rock is somewhat of an unfamiliar territory for myself, I know enough about to deduce that vocals are considered to be just a sound device among many others, something that can be left out when there isn't a stressing need for it just then. That's also the case with the songs on the record, as they are mostly instrumental, only occasionally broken with politically charged vocal samples dealing with the wrongs of the world. But even when they do appear, they are so embedded into the music that it's hard to pay attention to what they are expressing simply because you're already so enthralled by the band's intelligent song structures. I can't say I'm able to compare their soundscape directly to any band, but occasionally there are moments where their angular guitars sound like they could've come straight off Damiera's masterpiece "M(US)IC". Last.FM says these guys are similar to The Samuel Jackson Five, This Is Your Captain Speaking, Caspian and a number of other instrumental rock bands, but whether those comparisons hold true is not something you can hold me accountable for. What I can say, however, is that all songs on "On Little Known Frequencies" contain extensive buildups coherently constructed towards a climaxing moment. With enough listens, it's possible to see how every intricate detail is a part of a bigger picture leading up to a grand finale of voluminous instrumental finesse, best seen on "Beyond God & Elvis", "The First Five" and "(Millions Of) Individual Factories)", the last which begins, curiously enough, with a modern indie-flavoured Brit rock rhythm in the vein of Arctic Monkeys or something.

Overall, if you're at all into the delicacies of math rock and the beautiful soundscapes of instrumental rock bands like Pelican, then From Monument To Masses should be something to check out for you. The album overall feels like it's been placed just in the middle of the two genres, with enough technical instrumentation from the former and a good amount of the picturesque mind-image painting for the latter to appeal to both scenes equally well. The lack of a proper vocalist isn't important here, the songs speak for themselves.

Download: Beyond God & Elvis, The First Five
For the fans of: Pelican, Damiera, This Is Your Captain Speaking
Listen: Myspace

Release date 10.03.2009
Dim Mak / Golden Antenna

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