While Iron Maiden sets to recapture the past with its ongoing “Maiden England” tour and the recent “Somewhere Back In Time” tour, there emerges a new band that seeks to inspire a new generation of fans to those glory days. Led by Ex-White Wizzard vocalist Peter Ellis, Monument, like its name, is a monolith to days past. With absolutely no excuses, the band sets out to do exactly as the sound commands: bring back the days of great traditional British metal.
In a world where performing as a rigid stalwart to a solitary genre is more apt to be shunned, Monument send a bold statement that the band intends to revive the original style of NWOBHM that has nearly vanished as a current species. As a fan of many forms of metal old and new, but who was lived through that “monumental” era, I can certainly respect a group that will give no apologies for flipping off the modern ways to embrace a traditional style for pure love of the genre. Monument comes now to stake its claim with the debut release “Rock the Night.” Instantly, the sound of the first three Iron Maiden albums is brought back to life with the same vigor and energy as in the decade when the legends made it famous. “Fatal Attack” and “Carry On” are perfect examples of the replicated dual guitar melodies of “Murray/Smith” (here performed by Stephens/del Cid), which are as catchy now as they ever were. Ellis is no Bruce Dickinson clone, as he brings his own brilliant style of soaring vocals to the “old is new” formula. The title track, a speedster with blazing guitar (solo provided by Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner) and striking vocals causes the hair stand on end for this 80’s metal fan. “Blood Red Sky” and “Midnight Queen” are equally solid numbers.
Is this tired and used? Well, I am sure there are more than enough people who think that. To me, good music is good music and I never dismiss a band outright because the formula is overused. I can hear the “Maiden ripoff” haters complaining that the opening harmony of “Fatal Attack” is exactly like “Prowler.” While the comparison is undeniable and quite intended, the band brings enough of its own originality to overcome (not to mention Ellis is way better than Di’Anno). Here, the hooks are just as meaty as I have ever heard.
Everything is cyclical, so I welcome bands who have the ability to not only perform the traditional style in a way that takes me back to those days of first contact, but can get me excited enough to listen with as much enthusiasm as back then. Monument’s debut salvo does exactly what it advertises and the band has made a new start on a legendary genre.
1. Rock the Night
2. Carry On
3. Midnight Queen
4. Fatal Attack
5. Blood Red Sky
Monument – Rock The Night 2012 (EP)
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