Monument Bineothan (Candlelight)
by Tim Den
I was as surprised as any Extol fan when founding guitarist Christer Espevoll exited the group prior to The Blueprint Dives, presumably to work on lighter, easier listening projects. But as his new outfit, Benea Reach, will prove, he didn’t really have his eye set on John Mayer material. Monument Bineothan is a stainless steel, massive pillar of majestic metal that sounds like what would happen if Botch listened to a ton of The Hidden Hand and Extol’s Undeceived. To the unfamiliar, that means doom-laden, atmospheric Norwegian metal that grooves and drones, accentuated by strange time signatures and a sense of transcendental divinity. Its riffs can go from being smokily stoner-ish to mathcore in the same song, but always larger than life and Grand Canyon wide. It’s a combination of the best elements of the band’s influences, manipulated to perfection by the capable hands of Espevoll and company. Plus, Scandinavian metal just has that certain chill-inducing effect, you know? Sometimes it makes you wanna rage, sometimes it makes you wanna cry, every time it stuns you with its beauty.
Put these guys in the same category as Mastodon, Extol, Strapping Young Lad, and all them forward-thinking neo-metal bands. Benea Reach are here to change the rules fashionably.