Exploring your options as a band and featuring musicians to bring different flavors into your sound is nothing new to metal, and it’s something that I quite enjoy. However, like most things, it’s gotta be taken in moderation. Can’t have too much as you gotta find the right balance. Descenery is a great example of a band looking to the outside for bringing extra spice to their music, yet that led to their debut album feeling like a guest musician album more than anything else.
I’m very well aware that it can be quite a struggle to create an album between only two separate people, especially when neither of them is a drummer, so it helps to look towards getting extra help for an album, but I feel Descenery went a little too overboard their debut, “Stillborn Monolith”. Bar the opening 50-second track, almost every single track has at least one guest musician on it. These guests come from several different groups like Nightingale, Witherscape, and (one of my personal favorites) Countless Skies, and that really allows for a constant breath of fresh air with each track sounding very different from the last which allows “Stillborn Monolith” to really escalate have its own twists between songs. However, we never see a single piece of what Descenery is going for with this debut stylistically or musically. Sure, “Stillborn Monolith” was crafted by the duo behind Descenery which shows that they can bring together different elements from different places in quite a nice way, but there’s zero sense of identity on this album. I never felt like I heard Descenery, but in the end, it’s still hard for me to say that I didn’t enjoy “Stillborn Monolith”. Keeping the listener guessing as well as engaged is something that every album needs and Descenery have made it clear with these nine tracks they have an understanding of that. This piece had loads of ups and downs that were interesting with a good sense of musicianship, and that’s what helped carry Descenery for the rest of “Stillborn Monolith” all the way to the end.
It is quite disappointing to be that I never really felt like I truly heard Descenery with this album, I can definitely hear and thus the wheels in their heads turning with this record. “Stillborn Monolith” shows definite promise from this band that can take several outside elements and implements them really well, but I’d like to hear more from these two men instead of whoever from whatever band that catches their eye. Not critically important in the end, but it would be very nice to see for me.
LISTEN to “Stillborn Monolith” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Descenery on Facebook here.