Sights and Sounds – Monolith

sightsSights & Sounds are breaking into the music industry with their debut Monolith, which was produced under the knowledgeable guidance of Devin Townsend (of Strapping Young Lad fame), which is worth mentioning mostly for the subtlety and airiness of ambient passages and thunder of heavy sections that he has sculpted. The production is in the vein of many Devin Townsend recordings, the bass guitar and the drums locking into a thundering production which ensures that both drive themselves into one’s ears equally. Slower instrumental and ambient passages are reminiscent of similar pieces recorded in Townsend’s other work, yet in a more repetitive and less alluring way. Some songs have moments which find the band in a place where a heavy groove, ambient background guitar and impassioned vocal melodies combine to create a monstrous and grey atmosphere, but these moments are too often over-shadowed by typical metalcore trappings such as understated double-kick rhythms, relationship-centric lyrics and vestiges of that infamous screamo-esque nasal vocal delivery. The biggest annoyance of this album is the fact that at times it comes so close to transcend commonalities of the genre. If it were merely a blatant exercise in mimicry it could be easily discarded, but the band shows great ambition, and it is for this reason that this album is disappointing. (Smallman Records, Dustin Danyluk