Monolithe – Kosmodrom

Time Tombs Productions
Out : November 25, 2022
Playing Time: 01:07:00

Monolithe from France do things in a big way. In November last year, they released the album “Kosmodrom”. This was accompanied by a full bonus album, “Kassiopea”, with another forty-eight minutes of playing time. The band was founded in 2001. Since then, the French have released nine studio albums, one live album and several EPs and singles. With guitarists Benoît Blin and Sylvain Bégot, two founding members are still active. Apart from that, there have been several line-up changes.

As you can already guess from the song titles, “Cosmodrome” is about the space programme of the former USSR, which had groundbreaking successes in the early days. “Sputnik-1” was the first artificial satellite of mankind that was successfully brought into an earth orbit. At the beginning, you can hear the satellite’s beeping signals. But soon the quiet Doom sound sets in. Beguiling female clear vocals (guest singer London Lawhon) mix with evil growls. Beauty and the Beast in perfection. However, the French obviously don’t attach much importance to completeness and chronology. For example, the first man in space is not mentioned. The “Voskhod” was already the successor project to the Vostok spaceship. The song starts with a strong bass line, which is later joined by a heavily distorted guitar. The vocals remind me a bit of Crematory, but without the clear vocals.  At first I couldn’t do too much with the title “Kudryavka”. Until it turned out that this is the nickname of a dog that later became world famous under the name Laika. The first living creature in space, in Sputnik-2. Musically, the song sounds very similar to its predecessor. Again and again, the dark Doom is loosened up by spherical sounds. The name “Soyuz” was given to the space capsule that was later shot into space in a routine flight and which, among other things, flew to the various space stations. Here you can first hear radio messages from the Soviet cosmonauts, underpinned by a calm guitar melody. Apart from that, there is not much new to hear, except for just worn Doom sounds with evil growls. Besides very melodic guitar melodies there are also brachial riffs to be heard. “Kosmonavt” is a hymn to the human urge to explore and the spirit of discovery, but also to the successfully mastered technical challenges. With a playing time of twenty-six minutes, this is a monster track. Progressive Epic Doom would fit as a description here, as there are quite a few melodic and rhythmic changes. The keyboards are omnipresent and provide an anthemic impact.

Over the entire playing time, however, the songs seem a bit monotonous. If you don’t listen intently and pay attention to the subtleties in the arrangements. This makes it clear that “Kosmodrom” should not be listened to casually. A lot of time, quiet and a good sound system are actually a must here. Then you can enjoy the dark sound. The finale is an old Russian folk song that has been lifted into Metal.

Monolithe – Sputnik-1:


Rémi Brochard – Vocals, Guitar
Sylvain Bégot – Guitar
Benoît Blin – Guitar
Matthieu Marchand – Keyboards
Olivier Defives – Bass
Thibault Faucher – Drums

Track list:

  • Sputnik-1
  • Voskhod
  • Kudryavka
  • Soyuz
  • Kosmonavt

Track list „Kassiopea“ (Bonus):

  • Kold
  • Orion’s Misery
  • Invasion AD
  • Brave Murder Day
  • The Killing Moon
  • Spatial Cases
  • 8/10
    Album - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Cover-Art - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Songwriting - 8/10