Thursday 21 November 2013

Monkey3 - The 5th Sun (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 4/11/2013
Label : Napalm Records

The 5th Sun, album track listing :

1). Icarus 14:58
2). Suns 08:27
3). Birth of Venus 05:16
4). Pintao 04:36
5). Once We Were.. 08:48
6). Circles 06:50

Bio :

With their fourth album – "The 5th Sun" – the Swiss band MONKEY3 presents the definition of psychedelic Stoner Rock. The seven sweeping compositions combine Stoner Rock vibe and riffs in the vein of PORCUPINE TREE, PINK FLOYD, LED ZEPPELIN and their label mates MY SLEEPING KARMA with trippy Psychedelic influences. The experienced quartett turn this numerous styles into a perfect sound, which will welcomes new and old listeners alike. The sonic world of MONKEY3 is nothing less than breathtaking, and the new album will bring the band its well deceived recognition!

The Band :

Walter | Drums
Picasso | Bass
Boris | Guitar
dB | Keys

Review :

Monkey3 hail from Lausanne, Switzerland and play very spacey stoner/trippy/proggy rock/metal. If you enjoy anything from classic Hawkwind to karma to Burn you are going to enjoy this...

There are no vocals on this record; just bass, drums, guitar and keys. Human voices can be heard in opener Icarus, but don't be expecting hook laden choruses. The opener runs for near 15 minutes and takes in grooves, throbbing electro ambience and serves to generated a rather “2001” type vibe. The production is top notch and the sound thick with all elements coming through well.

Suns follows with well over 8 minutes of space rock (possibly on the edge of time!). A pulsating rhythm takes hold and the track builds as the key sounds pan from left to right. It's atmospheric and evokes travel/space/time for me- without ever being aggressive or dark necessarily. “The 5th Sun” is, appropriately, Monkey3's fifth album and their maturity and experience shine through in the way they utilise dynamics and employ Nebula-type grooves with swirling overlays of keyboard.

Birth of Venus is heavy from the off and is one of the shorter tracks on the record. Choppy riffs are followed by mechanised sounds and rolling bass. The tempo is slowed and the groove that sets in is rather menacing – only to be lightened slightly by a nice clean guitar line. The band surely knows how to work as a unit and employ the full gamut of sounds at their disposal. The album is certainly not one dimensional as grooves are locked into but then subtly evolve as the track progresses.  Pintao has the shortest song length of the album and gets right to it with a rather Fu Manchu opening- until the keyboard kicks in, that is. The keys provide a rather creeping sense of dread while the bass gets a chance to explore the fretboard a little (great tone, incidentally).

Once We Were... has a slightly more frenetic pace and feel to the riffing and instrumentation in general and offers something different because of this. Some widdly soloing surfaces, pleasingly, and then the whole thing comes to a stop before a much more melodic section takes hold. The refrain gets gradually weightier with crashing cymbals and the guitars gaining weight and thickness- a very effective build up before the dissolution of the final seconds. Circles closes the record on a rather sombre note as the music drifts in an almost jazzy style. The band plays deftly and then crashes in with full force and tempo changes. The closing passages evoked hope and perhaps rays of light or similar for me- triumphant stuff.

Should you be looking for a spacey instrumental record with just the right amount of bite, then this is the album for you. Excellent stuff- and the perfect antidote to these long winter evenings. The album comes in multiple formats- including some pretty cool coloured vinyl sets. Ideal.


Words by : Richard Maw

You can buy it here

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