Like most of you, when I first heard about what would become Imonolith it sounded like the most kickass collection of Metal’s best exes ever. Ex-members of Devin Townsend Project + ex-members of Strapping Young Lad sounded like a recipe for success as a concept alone. But as fate would have it, the SYL half would eventually depart the project before it fully came to fruition but regardless, a fire was lit! The seeds were sown! And what you will have on March 27th is the constantly evolving new Metal monsters, Imonolith.
But I digress.
From DTP you get drummer Ryan ‘RVP’ Van Poederooyen and guitarist Brian ‘Beav’ Wadell who are rounded out by Kai Huppunen on guitar and Scott Whalen on bass. Add the unmistakable voice of Threat Signal’s Jon Howard to the mix and you have, not only one helluva solid roster, but a recipe for pure, unbridled and unexpected Metal magic.
If you were expecting that SYL schizophrenia or the Prog tendencies of recent DTP then you’re in for a treat as this is neither. While definitely still retaining some of that inherent DNA, State of Being stands out by heading off in another direction entirely and incorporating elements of both Hard Rawk and Swedish Metal to conjure something different that, coupled with Howard’s emotive and energetic delivery which combines the passion of Chester Bennington with Phil Anselmo’s visceral intensity at times, make each track equally accessible and angry.
“State of Being” is a statement of intent as this short little ditty builds towards “Becoming The Enemy”, an explosive opening number that comes at listeners with all the subtlety of a freight train hitting a brick wall at full speed topped with some slick Groove Metal tendencies and Howard sounding as potent as ever switching between his ferocious scream and clean vocals.
“Instinct” is vicious with Van Poederooyen’s signature drum sounds echoing out before introducing the first of many anthemic choruses within State of Being. “Dig” pummels mercilessly with huge grooves while “The Mourning” is akin to classic Thrash, like the kind that Anthrax made in the ’80’s but fronted by John Bush.
Further in and “Forgone” is the one that really sounds like Imonolith hitting their stride with a menacing rumble from Whalen while Van Poederooyen’s destructive drumming is sheer perfection and the double guitar attack of Wadell and Huppunen reign down. “Breathe” offers up more depth with a subtle opening before the power of Howard’s voice shines through and later, “We Never Forget” continues the shreds and is a straight anthemic banger.
“The Reign” was released in demo form almost two years ago as a tease and in its’ fully realized version on State of Being it, quite simply, owns and shows the growth this group has gone through since their inception. Wadell and Huppunen create this unified buzz with their guitar tones during “We Never Forget” leading into an unforgettable breakdown while Van Poederooyen’s precision pounding leads “Hollow” as Howard seriously stretches his vocal chops. Beginning as a moody dirge before opening up into another scorching anthem, Imonolith close out their debut on a triumphant note capturing the dynamic heart and soul of this new beast in a four minute package.
State of Being is out on March 27th through Imonolith Music. You can pre-order yours now by clicking here. For the most up-to-date info on Imonolith, including when you’ll be able to catch them on the road again, head here, here, or here.