If you happened to be on the lookout for the heaviest new UK metal band then Monasteries would probably be a good place to start. That’s because the band has set out with the core intention of writing “ridiculously heavy music” and honed a sound they describe to us as “chaotic, schizophrenic and heavy.”
Indeed, the sound of Monasteries was first described to us as offering up: “Erratic songs of rage, songs to invoke the primal fear within you, songs that will seduce your dark passenger, causing you to dance alongside us. These are lyrical themes of angst and anguish, brought forth from the bleak lives that each and every single human leads, presented in cacophanous voice.”
The technical deathcore collective was first formed around 2013 with founding member Dan Hill (drums) the constant amid countless lineup changes. However, Monasteries have now settled on a solid lineup they believe is the strongest date with Dan joined by Josh Davies (vocals), Aaron Wright and Ben Standley (guitars) and Sam Mitchell (bass).
And on the sound the band has honed, Josh tells us: “We’re nothing like any other heavy band that comes from the UK! We can present to you some of the most heaviest stuff the band has written to date that also has some tech, melodic and death metal elements. I would advise to strap yourself in as you’ll be taken through a heavy as fuck rollercoaster.”
Our latest taste of this hard-hitting chaos is brand new EP Silence, which was released on Friday (23 April). On the EP, Josh says: “We’re incredibly excited to be getting this out. Silence was written and recorded through the pandemic, but speaking of that itself people will know how hard it was to do stuff during that time. But this material is our best written to date and it’s another stepping stone for us to show the listeners what we are capable of by showcasing some newer sounds.”
The EP opens up with the absolutely brutal Jorogumo Yokai, which refers to a ghost or goblin in Japanese folklore. It starts with background noise, some form of incantation, then powerful guitars and a searing synth sound, which intensify by huge pounding drums. It soon drops into a mass of terrifyingly screamed vocals, low-tuned guitars and insanely heavy drums.
The pace increases then drops into rolling drums before huge blastbeat drums supporting stabbing guitars and all sorts of savage vocals. A section of stabbing guitars and repeating drums seems almost soothing as the pace drops, then bursts into intense drums and heavy guitars and vocals, which end on a bloodcurdling scream. Another huge scream gives way to huge blasts of low-tuned guitar and drums that bring the track to a close.
That’s followed by the superb One Minute To Midnight, which opens up with heavy groove guitars and intense drums. The unrelenting heavy instrumentals and brutal vocals are supported by a range of synthy sounds, before dropping into a savagely section of crazy high-pitched guitar sounds. Suddenly everything drops out and explodes into low-tuned guitars and wild techy noises before flying into wild drums as the track comes to a huge ending. Check it out here:
And if you thought that was heavy, then we raise you the massive Digital Suicide. It explodes into brutal guitars and drums alongside Josh’s huge vocals, then rolling drums flow into a section of descending guitar broken up by massive blastbeat drums. It then goes all dark and gothic on us with ascending synths dropping into absolutely monstrous vocals. Crushing stabbing guitars and big cymbals support a little synth loop, drop into eerie quietness, then throat wrenching vocals and savagely low-tuned guitars sink things to new levels of darkness. Check it out here:
There’s no relenting as we move on to Allowing Your Traitors To Die, which dives straight into big low-tuned guitars then flurries of high-pitched guitars thrown over a backdrop of brutal guitars and drums. It suddenly drops into light synths, drums and almost whispered vocals, which flow into heavier vocals “It’s time to take turns, Let’s Spin the gun, Let’s see who’ll get hurt, Nothing from no one.”
A huge guttural scream drops into a scary section of blasts of guitar, drums and vocals, which build up to the rarity of a near guitar solo. But that’s soon replaced by terrifying high-pitched guitars over booming chords, which flow into the return of the high-pitched guitar note flurries. It soon drops into low-tuned stabbing guitars as the track darkens, then powerful drums and an atmospheric synth build up to a heavy conclusion. Check it out here:
The EP closes out with Silence (In the Place Where Heaven Should Be Found), a calming anthem to bring things to a close – kidding, it’s absolute savagery. Stabbing guitars open up and drop into brutally heavy drums and guitars over Josh’s throat breaking vocals. Big low-tuned guitars and guttural screams take over, before stabbing guitars flow into a section of a cool distant synth sound mimicking Josh’s vocals.
That drops into a worryingly laid-back section of light synths, which descends into dark drawn-out synths, vocals, strings and guitars over doomy cymbals. That seemingly brings an absolutely massive EP to a close, only for a final blast of huge screamed vocals, guitars and drums to bring to a fitting ending. And if you liked what you heard, then there’s plenty more savagery to delve into in the band’s back catalogue.
On what inspires him to write music, Josh tells us: “I’m a big sucker for theatrics, poems and stuff that is so genuine, so I’ve always looked up to Mike Hranica and Gerard Way. But vocally I first started because of the main man himself Mitch Lucker, and even when it isn’t musicians that inspire me I always get inspired from comics and films etc…
“Personally, my lyrics are influenced from real and serious topics that have happened in my life or something that I’ve witnessed that I feel like needs to be taken more seriously. I want to write lyrics as honest and genuine as possible for people to find some sort of solace and I feel like with this release I accomplished that.”
Gigs should be returning in around July and Monasteries are primed and ready to take advantage of that and bring the new EP to the masses. They have a tour with Gassed Up and Freehowling from 28 August to 5 September, then hopefully touring Europe later that month. And beyond that, they hope to tour relentlessly while working on plenty more behind the scenes.
As we alluded to at the top, this is a serious contender for the heaviest new UK metal band. Their new EP is absolutely brutal with savage vocals, unrelentingly heavy drums and delicious deathcore instrumentals.
And the band shows no sign of slowing down any time soon, as Josh tells us: “Monasteries won’t be slowing down anytime soon, Pulmonary Failure and The Amygdala Chorus was just a taste tester but Silence is just the start of our domination. Thank you for the support and we hope to be in a city near you.”