The word ‘atmospheric’ gets blatantly overused in regards to any style of music that has some sort of aura or “epic” sound to it. Dark undertones are a staple, and instrumental interludes only help to accentuate the, well, atmosphere.

“I feel few bands can justifiably be considered as brilliantly atmospheric as Monks of Mellonwah.”

I am not new to the group. The Neurogenesis EP from 2012 was an interesting experiment that showcased a wide range of sound from a band more than capable in competing against the major mainstream players of a similar aesthetic.

Their latest release, the Sky and the Dark Night EP almost single-handedly outclasses any previous efforts by the band. I say single-handedly because the album is really one long song, a 8+ minute powerhouse epic that moves through three intense movements.

The initial movement is a courageous prelude that seems crafted specifically for a film trailer. This makes it sound cheesy, but it adds this additional fervor that moves smoothly and vibrantly into the second movement. This is where the band pulls out their inner Dream Theater, expect more streamlined and less comically absurd than that famous group. By the time the third movement ushers in, the drums pound at an alarming rate, and everything intensifies appropriately. You feel the climax shaking the speakers and blowing out the candles.

The EP is an exquisite triumph. Many bands of this progressive-metal style seem to really take it too far, making their music alienating seemingly with purpose. Other artists of this caliber dumb the sound down enough to make it radio-friendly, approachable, and totally devoid of intrigue. Monks of Mellonwah captivate with sensational songwriting. The Sky and the Dark Night EP begins with moody atmospheres, builds with haunting and enchanting vocals, and climaxes with a crescendo of beautiful appeal. Somewhere towards the final moments, the band introduced a dance/synth that at first brush seems totally unnecessary, but it represents an additional sound and style that the band encompass even over one song.

The EP is a clear expression of talent, and though there does not seem to be anything to say lyrically of any great interest, the sounds coming forward act as an expressionist painting, swooning with sounds and styles of multiple genres and proving that the Monks of Mellonwah are more than a hard rock or metal group, and more than the little sister of a mainstream band. They deserve a top spot, and if the band continues to make waves with their instrumentation, I see no reason why they can’t headline arenas with their alternative/electronic/progressive mixture of absolutely grand proportions.


Monks of Mellonwah includes Vikram Kaushik on vocals, Joe de la Hoyde on guitar and vocals, John de la Hoyde on bass, and Josh Baissari on the drums.

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