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Amebix - Monolith [reissue] (Cover Artwork)

Amebix

Amebix: Monolith [reissue]Monolith [reissue] (2008)
Moshpit Tragedy

Reviewer Rating: 3
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Contributed by: feeeding5000feeeding5000
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Amebix are re-forming. Yes, that Amebix: the smelly Motörhead- and Discharge-worshipping godfathers of crust; the first band to combine hardcore punk and the primordial elements of black metal; the forgers of the foul-smelling network of activists, anarchists and holier-than-thou vegans that compris.
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Amebix are re-forming. Yes, that Amebix: the smelly Motörhead- and Discharge-worshipping godfathers of crust; the first band to combine hardcore punk and the primordial elements of black metal; the forgers of the foul-smelling network of activists, anarchists and holier-than-thou vegans that comprise one of punk's most extensive international scenes. In order to commemorate this new beginning (not to mention to fuck over the various labels that refuse to pay them), the members of Amebix have graciously decided to "bomb the music industry" and are offering their previously hard-to-find second album, Monolith, as a "pay what you can" download via Canada's Moshpit Tragedy Records.

In the mid-to-late `80s, dozens of hardcore and punk bands released the often-cursed "heavy metal second or third LP." From what I had read, Monolith was almost universally derided as Amebix's dreaded "metal album": a straight-up collection of thrash tunes that paled in comparison to the crust-defining Arise!. Upon actually hearing the album, it's a relief to discover that Monolith is no How We Rock, Do We Really Want to Hurt You? or Grave New World. Amebix's already metallic style, which originally consisted of drunk-punk takes on the simplest Venom and Celtic Frost / Hellhammer riffs, doesn't lose much with the minimal added soloing and metal beats. There is a little added speed, which takes away somewhat from the heaviness of the music, but sporadic D-beats make the album a little more varied. Monolith isn't the instant classic that Arise! was, but it's a very good crossover album that's firmly rooted in anarcho-punk ethics. After three listens, nothing immediately sticks in my mind, but it's certainly enjoyable while listening.

For the "packaging" of this reissue, Moshpit Tragedy has actually put a decent amount of thought into what makes a good music download. The .zip file includes a printable "record sleeve," with the original album artwork (not the shitty "Amebix face" one -- the scary monster one), and a track listing. The printout even has instructions about how to fold it into an actual "sleeve," so you don't have to use one of those cheap-ass consumer jewel cases. The download also comes with a full lyrics sheet and some liner notes by vocalist/bassist Stig, which is a nice touch.

For what it is -- the less-celebrated second album by a classic band -- Monolith is well worth having. While previous import-only European pressings went for as much as US$35, this one costs only as much as you can afford, whether that be $10 Canadian, or $0. While it's tempting to pay nothing for the album, please keep in mind that Amebix most likely gets next to nothing from Alternative Tentacles or Heavy Metal Records for the rest of their catalog. Do them a favor and donate, and you'll get a pretty good album in return.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
lushj (June 17, 2009)

Moshpit's right- Alternative Tentacles has been working with & paying the band for their 2 AT releases: "Arise" & "No Sanctuary." We were able to help them pay for the tickets to the U.S. this past February.

Seems that the British label, Revolver (NOT the same as the distributor), will be selling CD versions of this record in the U.S. starting in August 2009.

Moshpit-Tragedy (September 22, 2008)

Thanks for the review, I would just like to make the correction that along with Moshpit Tragedy, ALTERNATIVE TENTACLES HAS BEEN THE ONLY OTHER LABEL TO PAY THEM THEIR PROPER ROYALITES.

So by all means pick up their SPIDERLEG reissue on Alternative Tentacles and please give what you can for this album and help the band with their future projects.

fox82 (March 26, 2008)

Amebix are REUNITING?! What the fuck? When did this happen?

This record is not bad for what it is, but I feel it pales in comparison to Arise. I can't really fault them for taking that step in a slightly more 'thrash' direction or whatever, but I don't like it when the thrash becomes more prominent than the punk/crust sound. I'd buy this, but I already have it and getting it 'free' seems a bit shit, so it's probably worth say $5 (or the equivalent of a couple beers) if you already have this.

sugarfull (March 25, 2008)

I think you underrated the record; while there are a lot of rock-sounding parts on this record, there are some amazing guitar riffs on this one, and it flows together amazingly.

Jesus_H_Christ (March 25, 2008)

Amebix is one of the few crust bands that have talent.

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