Although their music is nothing short of lethally serious Dutch nutters The Monolith Deathcult have a rare sense of humour in the death metal scene and have never been above cracking the odd joke at their expense either. V2 Vergelding (and pronunciation of the album title is not as straightforward as you may expect) comes on the heels of 2017 release ‘Versus’ and it has to be said is like that and a lot of fun. The album has a narrator who takes us on search through the tracks for the monolithic morticultis a multi-limbed monstrosity. The voice of our chronicler is British through and through and suitably similar to a certain Attenborough covering a nature documentary. It kind of reminds a bit of albums by The Berzerker in this sense and is a good laugh listening to the tale unravel without getting particularly in the way of the music.

This kicks off properly in style with ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Ashes’ and proves the band are not monkeying around in the slightest. A heaving industrial death tumult blasts in and the electronic components are fast and furious. Everyone involved in the band contributes vocally at some point and although deep gruff growls are the main emphasis sounding like a very hungry foraging abominable snowman, expect some cleaner throat shredding yells too. The track rumbles away injecting the odd solo and some very Ministry sounding samples into things and it is a solid head banging mass that’s wild and deranged in equal measures. Perhaps it is due to recently watching The Frighteners but there is no mistaking a soundtrack like choral aspect that is very Danny Elfman subtly flowing around ‘Come Forth Lazarus’ which stomps slowly in and gutturally disembowels vocally. You can easily picture a grizzly beast stomping through the snow here and sure enough it suddenly arrives in Russia and if you are following the story confronts an enemy in the face of ‘The Fist Of Stalin.’ As you can guess it’s time for a big old battle with the Commissar swinging into action and firing every conceivable weapon at the monster bearing down on it. With elements of everything from gory Debauchery to the symphonics favoured by the likes of Fleshgod Apocalypse it’s a mighty fight with troops decimated and our hero not escaping with singed ass hair at the very least! It retreats tail between legs allowing the band to go all soundtrack blockbuster theme on near instrumental number ‘The #Snowflake Anthem’ a song whose message is no doubt in title. Poor misunderstood beasty it only wanted to be friends and have a snowball fight. The story concludes with ‘Rise of the Dhul-Fakar’ and is a seething melting pot that throws everything including the kitchen sink and some mental backing female vocals into things. I kind of lost track what was actually going on as far as the tale is concerned but good a good old bludgeoning by the music.

It would have been a bit short leaving it here and the album is concluded with two tracks that the band played live at Graspop in 2017, the second ‘The Furious Gods’ giving a good old bruising reminiscent of Ministry prime era Thieves. I’m kind of kicking myself not having seen them at The Black Heart when they played here. Judging by the size of that venue and the group now seemingly self-releasing this via their own imprint I guess TMDC are a band that not everyone can particularly get their head around. That’s a shame as this is both damn destructive and enjoyable in equal measures and definitely worth having a listen and a laugh to.

(7.5/10 Pete Woods)