How not to make friends and influence me; open the album with a pirate themed song called ‘William Kidd’, make it historically dubious (if ever there was a guy whose crew didn’t do their best to serve him well it was Kidd, and he had no idea he was sailing to his last stand) and make it so catchy i love it…!

Monument are a very English, very traditional heavy metal band with a serious work ethic (it’s album number three I think in 4 years). Also please excuse me but I need to chat to the large pachyderm blocking my way: They sound a lot like Iron Maiden. A lot. Their singer even kinda sounds like Bruce Dickinson spliced to Gary Holton. Imagine Brave New World with a less bombastic production and arrangement and you’re close. I know the band won’t take it as such but none of this is supposed to be insulting, or even critical, just what I hear.

What I also hear, you see is absolutely great. Get over the similarities and there are some brilliant songs and such a bright, enthusiastic performance all round. The title track has the twin guitars to die for, and insanely catchy chorus and just a boisterous, galloping nature. When they slow it down a tad, they actually really sound like Monument. ‘Nightrider’ is midway between Priest and Maiden with some great vocals. ‘Straight Through The Heart’  (no not the Magnum song) has a great NWOBHM/very early Maiden feel with a chorus that is ALL Monument. ‘The End’ is an epic in six and a half minutes that broods and bites and has more of a Maiden feel than makes you think of an actual song and the guitar breaks are fantastic with a good but of Lizzy style in there. ‘Wheels Of Steel’ (no not remotely Saxon related) is one of the best, with again a riff that is Monument even if part of the chorus gets a bit Maiden.

Sorry, I just don’t know how else to put it. But.

I’m not going to deny that you will half hear a lot of Maiden songs here, but for me at least they have enough cheek and genuinely skirt just enough on the edges and put enough original touches on to get away with it. Look it’s fun, it’s skilful, every part of the band is exceptional, it has loads of energy, every song is different and it is all as catchy as a cold in an office.

Maiden fans may want to tread carefully though…

(7/10 Gizmo)