The first Monolith Festival is upon us. Conjured up by Paranoid Beast Promotions, the festival will take place in Cypress Avenue this August 4th. With a lineup of 12 homegrown bands from all around the country, Monolith festival will have an array of styles for every type of metal fan, all showcased in one of the finest venues in Cork. Here are five bands that you should be going to see on the day.
Cork’s The Magnapinna are not a band to be described in one word. It would be easier for you to attend one of their gigs. Self-describing themselves as “no wave” the band are closer to rock than to metal, however that is not always the case when the group breaks into halftime doom sections inspired by the likes of Neurosis. Perhaps on paper, their influences ‘could’ be brought down to Tomahawk, David Bowie or even Talking Heads. The almost sarcastic lead vocals that express irony and a witty humor in front of songs divided between funk, metal and general rock seem to work even better when they are played by a group in shirts and ties. You may think their songs are delightful and cheerful until you realise the lyrics are really about a certain serial killer, probably distaste for aspects of social media and a mockery of the pop industry. It’s really a nice combo of things. Listen to Cowboy Disco off their new EP 'This is No Wave'.
Third Island are a post-metal/doom band that, from what I can hear, summon bands such as Russian Circles and ISIS. Mixing clean and roaring vocals with layered guitars to make songs that, according to themselves, express the “the joy of discovery, the pride of the city, the anger and sadness of learning the truth”. Their first full-length album 'Omelas' certainly demonstrates their ability to create a paranoid fiction atmosphere with metal. Shifting between melancholy and oppression in their songs, Third Island will be one to watch on the day. Listen to 'Procession' from their album Omelas below.
Trenchknife express brutality through thrash and death metal influences, however, much like bands like Death in the '90s, Trenchknife are able to showcase riffs and complex fast playing without getting too ahead of themselves. Each riff is tight but far from unnecessary complexity and their live show is just as impressive as their debut recording. Having seen them at the Siege of Limerick, Trenchknife would make any death metal fan feel welcome to their sound, but also impress the rest by simply being a great metal band regardless. Listen to Arcuballista.
Slung From A Tree
Kerry/Limerick based band Slung From a Tree are a traditional sludge metal band in every sense, however, it is their ability to pull it off well that makes them worth the listen. Their loud and slightly rough around the edge approach makes for a great psychedelic listening experience. Unlike some sludge bands today, SFAT can change from mid-range to double tempos in songs, allowing the much slower sections to have more impact. The low-end rumblings of the fuzz ridden guitars and bass, matched with Eyehategod styled vocals make for a heavy headbanging time. Enjoy their live recording from their debut at the Siege of Limerick below.
Limerick’s Shardborne are certainly masters of their craft. A truly inspirational group of musicians who have mastered their instruments. The songwriting is modest but technical and tasteful, with riffs you would not often hear in the progressive metal realm that has since been diluted. Shardborne shows what the meaning of progressive is. Taking influence from older prog bands such as Rush and mixing modern takes on metal, the band will take you to a dozen places within the one composition. For the sheer skill alone it is a must watch, but the songs themselves are worth staying for. Listen to “Not that, Axis” off of their debut album below.