2007, Independent Release
Monsterworks, "Spacial Operations"
It doesn’t even take until the instrumental intro, “Leaving Home,” ends for the listener to know that an aural feast is about to ensue on the remainder of Monsterworks’ fifth disc, Spacial Operations. The only thing you can expect from these New Zealanders (if you haven’t heard their stuff before) is that you will not be prepared for it. Labeling the material progressive would be lazy, yet calling it death or thrash or anything else wouldn’t really be accurate even though there are plenty of those tendencies on the album. Part of the problem arises from the truly smooth yet complicated and varied song writing, that though utterly unlike Cynic’s Focus is more than just a little reminiscent in spirit. Another, equally unique aspect of Monsterworks’ arsenal is Jon’s wholly diverse vocal delivery. Everything from well-executed clean singing to death growls issue from this guy’s throat, though most frequently he chooses to go with a black metal-tinged wail that reminds me a lot of more recent 3 Inches of Blood.
Take all this and try to make sense of it? Nah, there’s no friggin’ way you’ll be able to without hearing the disc. “Firefight” will start, and you’ll understand the music just fine…you may even be able to see where I’m coming from here. By the time you get to “The Lonely Crown” if you’re surprised when the clean singing stops and the band launches into their unique space-metal attack, you haven’t been paying attention. Once you hit the slow fade out on “Pain and Elation” you’ll be prepared for the impressive guitar work and smartly crafted melodies. I’m telling you, it’s all there on Monsterworks’ Spacial Operations, and it’s even pretty damn accessible, thanks to this band’s insight and ability in songwriting and execution. You just won’t be able to get much joy out of it if you don’t listen to it yourself.