A band that piles every style under the sun into one album either knows their shit or is on the path to destruction. Fortunately, Monsterworks are the former, and while Universe isn’t entirely no-holds-barred there is a dizzying array of styles and atmospherics at play to make this an ambitious and erudite piece of work that hinges on a rich patchwork of soulful progressive sounds.
London’s progressive metallers navigate the big bang
From the mind-warp reverse-effect harmonies of the album’s opening title track, to the maniacal taunt of The Bridge and the album’s lingering hybrid of Swallow The Sun and 3 Inches Of Blood, Universe navigates its myriad influences with grace and subtlety.
After two decades of ploughing metal’s progressive undergrowth, Monsterworks have mastered the art of balancing extremity with soft nuances and mercurial guitars that erupt with Southern-style verve, which is simply enough to exhilarate besides their bold attempt to construct the album’s concept around the entire story of the universe.