Florida-based death metal band Monstrosity have gone from strength to strength, culminating in the absolutely awesome "In Dark Purity". In case some of you had forgotten, that album was released in 1999. It's taken a hell of a long time for these guys to release their follow-up, "Rise to Power". For me, personally, I had really high expectations. "Millennium" was cool but "In Dark Purity" was just so much better. I really expected "Rise to Power" to be even better, or at least as good. "In Dark Purity" inspired me to drag my sorry arse through the emotional turmoil of divorce. "Rise to Power" simply had to be amazing.

It isn't.

The band isn't helping matters with the way the album was made. For starters it's only about 40 minutes. Perhaps I am spoiled, but is this all that these obviously talented guys have managed to come up with in 4 years? Purists may say the album clocks at about 48 minutes, but I challenge anyone to say that the last 8 minutes (of the 12-minute final track) actually pleased them. These 8 final minutes are mere harbingers of headache. A total waste of time.

The opening track, "The Exordium" is pretty good and fast, if a bit repetitive. "Chemical Reaction" is pretty technical, pretty fast, and probably the best track on the album. But the rest is just, well, too mediocre to be Monstrosity. There is no brilliance such as "The Angels Venom", for example. I would have settled for another Grade A Slayer cover, even.



Written March 2004


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