Imonolith - State Of Being review


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Band: Imonolith
Album: State Of Being
Release date: March 2020

01. State Of Being
02. Becoming The Enemy
03. Instinct
04. Dig
05. The Mourning
06. Forgone
07. Breath
08. The Reign
09. We Never Forget
10. Hollow
11. Persevere

Oh, what could have been?

What's that? Two ex-members of the Devin Townsend Project have teamed up with the vocalist from Threat Signal to form a band? Ooft, lofty expectations were had when I first caught wind of Imonolith, a band whose reputation preceded them, and for good reason considering the talent involved. Alas, the debut record State Of Being has shown what this combination of talent can produce and you will be left feeling short changed; given the level of hope it was hard not to have for this group, it is hard to come out of this anything less than disappointed.

So, what is the main problem with this record? Well given two members have spent the last decade playing alongside one of the most off-the-wall and creative artists in Devin Townsend, State Of Being is very generic and safe for their next project. While neither Waddell or Van Poederooyen should be expected to copy or imitate their erstwhile bandmate, their first attempt to distance themselves and give themselves their own identity is to clone Slipknot and late-era nu metal which is a... brave direction to take? "The Mourning" for example is like "Psychosocial" stripped of the little intricacies and powerful riffs that make it a memorable track and instead the band produce a pale imitation of it.

"Persevere" reminds me of the 2003 era of nu metal: chunky guitars and a loud quiet aesthetic with angsty vocals, the band willingly walk themselves down a musical dead end that musicians nearly two decades ago desperately tried to extricate themselves from and failed trying. Alongside "Breathe" with its hybrid Spineshank/Ill Niño vibes, it's an interesting route to take, much like rubbernecking on the motorway; lets face it, if you struggle to imitate nu metal then the bar is going to be a low one.

While those involved have a solid track record for what they are able to produce on their respective instruments, rather than move forward and continue to add to their arsenal of strong riffs and parts to allow the music to do the talking for them, no moment on State Of Being (with one exception) is something to be pointed at as a self-explaining credential. Given Waddell and Van Poederooyen have previously proven they have the talent, it is surprising they are not able to bring any of this to bear here, with tracks like "Instinct" suffering as a result.

So why isn't the score lower? Well for as much as State Of Being does badly, there are moments scattered around that do work well. The main positive is Jon Howard's vocals, as his voice suits the music perfectly. "We Never Forget" may not be the most exciting composition but damn if his performance isn't something to enjoy. Getting to employ more melodic vocals and go to corners and pockets that his day job in Threat Signal doesn't usually allow him to do very often, Howard is probably the only member to truly shine on State Of Being.

Imonolith appear to be a case of a supergroup being less than the sum of its parts; file them next to Prophets Of Rage and Kill Devil Hill and move on with your life.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 5
Songwriting: 4
Originality: 4
Production: 8


Written on 01.02.2021 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.

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