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Review: Monsterworks - The Existential Codex
The Existential Codex

Label: Independent
Year released: 2015
Duration: 43:23
Tracks: 6
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: May 30, 2015
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
The Existential Codex

Rated 3.25/5 (65%) (4 Votes)

Despite some really average review scores I've given New Zealand's Monsterworks past few releases I get a little excited when they have a new album out. Maybe it is because I never know quite what to expect but the fact that they don't make you wait very long is certainly a factor. The Existential Codex, the band's 12th full-length, is also the fourth album in just under two years.

On The Existential Codex much of the band's former Black Metal influences are toned down and can be heard mainly in the vocals of the opening track "Higgs Field." After that, Monsterworks settles into the slightly trippy, slightly thrashy mode they've been exploring over the past few albums. This is going to scare off a lot of people but they remind me of a combination between 70s Progressive Rock (Pink Floyd, Yes, Starcastle) and Warrior Soul. Still reading? OK, the vocals consist mostly of clear shouts, there's a lot of echo on the guitars and quite a few acoustic parts and some of the songs are quite long. Does that sound like a Heavy Metal version of a jam band? It does to me. I found The Existential Codex to be most listenable while in the car for a long drive though I can picture it working if you happen to be under the influence of certain medicinal products as well.

I still haven't come across a hook in any of the Monsterworks albums I've reviewed so again the score is going to be middle of the road. However, The Existential Codex is definitely different and different from the band's previous output and that's what keeps me coming back. I'll be checking out the next album just to see what Monsterworks comes up with.

Additional Information

Reviewed here is the 6-song digital version of The Existential Codex. A 2-disc physical release with extra tracks and a Blu-ray version of the album is also available.

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