It can be easy to forget the influence that Fall of Efrafa left behind when they called it a day. Despite only releasing three LPs, the crust turned post metal behemoths really set a standard for sprawling epic hardcore of this ilk and it’s easy to hear that sound explored more a few years later by bands like Downfall of Gaia, Vestiges and this band right here, Monuments Collapse.
From San Francisco, Monuments Collapse is another band that has morphed from a hardcore template (if you will) into a down-tempo, doomy-inflected entity that slowly unfurls its grand dirge in dramatic and imposing fashion.
This self-titled LP is made up of just two tracks, but both are lengthy expansive pieces, giving this effort a 36 running time. It’s clearly an album meant for consumption in one sitting, one listen.
First movement “White Owl” opens with funereal tones in bleak guitar lines that start to unfold into coarse doom metal walls of sound, soon gathering in pace, taking in some of the band’s post rock tendencies before the bellowing vocals enter to draw a line, daring you to cross. The harrowing roars totally change the tones to more caustic, abrasive and confrontational ones.
By the ten minute mark, Monuments Collapse have made their presence more than felt, meandering around haunting corners and laying down devastating dirges of doomed out hardcore. The song eventually descends into another eerie solemn passage around 12 minutes where the band recede into a minimalist verse before kicking in again with towering walls of riffs. The band’s ability to shift in and out of these climes is altogether impressive and this last twist brings “White Owl” to a staggering and gripping climax.
The 15 minute “Out of Darkness” is the second track, once again commencing with eerie ambience that creeps in and is oddly reminiscent of Red Sparowes in ways. Eventually those throat ravaging screams enter, totally disrupting the ghostly calm and thus truly begins the band’s second meandering trek. Around the seven minute point, the piece ups the pace again with frenetic drums and frantic clean guitars scaling and scaling to an invigorating close.
This is definitely a band with a lot to say with their music and with another LP tentatively titled “The Overgrowth” currently in the works; they may just get to say it.