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MONASTERIUM - Church of Bones

Release date May 6/19 (Nine records)

With a Candlemass record this year, you wouldn’t expect much more noise from the epic doom community in 2019. Well... queue maniacal Polish laughter in the distance, Monasterium’s upcoming sophomore album expands on a unique sound that was partially put in place on their debut. With far more variety and an almost groovy new sound dynamic, ‘Church of Bones’ outperforms their former release in every way.

On vocals, Michał Strzelecki puts on an absolute showcase, narrating with doomy lyrics that feel based in old god lore. He also provides some moments that will stick with you, none better than the ‘La Danse Macabre’ opening line; “THOU MIGHTY EMPEROR!” I defy you not to sing along on the second listen. That whole song is very memorable with the groovy riffs and the evil screeches, I just wish they explored more in that same field on this release.

To close out the album they do an epic doom metal duet. It is glorious. Leo Stivala (from Forsaken) guest stars and plays the part of Jacques de Molay, a famous Templar from history. It’s an exchange that is fabricated by Monasterium that takes place in 1314 when Molay took back his forced confession after being incarcerated and tortured by King Philip IV in 1307. It was the end of the Templar orders and a perfect end to an outstanding album.

Even if you’re not a history nerd, the song captures the betrayal and pain perfectly. Hopefully, unlike Molay and the Templars, Monasterium continue to give us more glorious heavy metal for years to come.

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