Exposé Online banner

Monolith — Monolith
(Musea FGBG 4252.AR, 1998, CD)

by Dean Suzuki, Published 1999-01-01

Monolith Cover artAt first listen this k/b/d band delivers up derivative progressive rock of the highest order. However, I discovered that a good chunk of this was written in 1977, nearly predating the sound they lean upon. Bill Hamer had the multi-part opener penned and was unable to find an outlet. Years later he sent the tapes to Musea. Monolith are far rockier than ELP (though ELPowell could be a reference). The band serve up some heavy keyboard-driven stuff; Hamer is all over the keys. It's the kind of music I love to sing along with, heavy-handed prog with grandiose themes. Imagine ELP meets Black September. The bulk of this album is "The Apocalypse Concept," a sci-fi kind of tale that really cooks: tons of synth and Hammond. Bass and vocals are handled quite well by Gordon Winfield; his vocals are far gutsier than Lake's, and he's a solid bass player too. Drummer Ron Mattia is no slouch either, pounding away with precision and grace. The album starts to fall flat after this piece, wearing the listener out. The three remaining older tracks are carry on the same vein. The last two tracks leap at out you instantly, you just knew they were new. Monolith founder Bill Hamer admits he wimped out on these two: "Mr. Personality" and "When Push Comes to Shove." Both are of the pseudo-prog/pop style we all know as early 80s style, however the infectious verses and hooks in "When Push Comes to Shove," actually make it better than most Asia or GTR offerings. Monolith deliver a tasty slice of late 70s power prog.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Monolith

Latest news

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Threshold - Clone – Given that this is a Karl Groom project, and that it's on the GEP label, and that the first tune is called "Freaks," you would be pretty safe to assume this is another tired and unwanted neo-prog...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues