Scale the Summit - Monument Review

by Dan Upton

Monument is one of those albums where after listening to it once, you have to wonder what went wrong, and after 3 or 4 listens, you realize it's an exercise in proving there's more to a solid instrumental album than just 40 minutes of riffs. That's certainly not to belittle this Texas four-piece's chops, though. Guitarists Chris Letchford and Travis Levrier are all over the fretboards with technical progressive metal-inspired riffs, while bassist Jordan Eberhardt and drummer Pat Skeffington hold the rhythm together and lend a frenetic pace to the music.

So, 40 minutes of frenetic playing with technical riffs all over the place, and a fairly high energy all around, what could possibly have gone wrong? The fact of the matter is, for all of the individual pieces of Monument, there's very little practical structure to the music. Songs blur into one another, separated at best by a quick gasp for air as the player shifts to the next track, and the riffs frequently transition from one to the next before there's a chance to actually absorb anything. What this ultimately yields is 40 minutes of boring, unmanageable music. If you want a tour through all of the riffs and melodic ideas a group of four talented musicians came up with in a writing session, pick up Monument. If you want a cohesive musical statement, something with real substance and flavor, I'd say wait for their next one.

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