MonolithHailing from Bremen these boys are preparing to unleash their debut album on a world that has already had Sabbath worship aplenty over the last decade. This is more of the same. Opener Won’t Come Down is so Ozzy era Sabbath I had to check I hadn’t pressed play on the wrong track.

I am a fan of the “new old” retro doom/psych of recent years and have championed acts such as Kadavar, Orchid and The Admiral Sir Cloudesly Shovel on my radio show. However the aforementioned acts have a character of their own to hang their floppy felt hats and bell bottoms on.  They take the best bits out of a lot of different pots and make their own lunatic soup.

Guitarist Ron Osenbruck offers up fuzzy riffs a plenty giving Monolith a sludgy feel but the music is not slow or doomy enough to penetrate like the dirtiest sludgesters. Rasped vocals would probably suit the production more but Ralf Brummerloh has got his Ozzy impression down pat. Not only the nasal tone but the intonation as well. This is very evident in Cosmic Fairy.  What is missing for lovers of Sabbath is the warmth and groove. Monolith have created a one dimensional monochrome Sabsalike which when compared to the original sounds and feels stark and emotionless. A cut and paste of riffs and “Yeahs”. The title track and Acid Rain offer more of the same. The lyrics are rhyming dictionary 101 and there is a whiff of Spinal Tap about them.  I realise that this is starting to sound like a hatchet job but it is hard to see why this album exists when there is still a gorgeous back catalogue of the Midlands magicians to enjoy.  This reminds me of the hooky computer games you used to be able to pick up on holiday with the titles slightly wrong and all the text written in pidgin English.

Why accept cheap imitations?

(2/10 Matt Mason)