Artist: Mono Inc.
Title: The Book Of Fire
Genres: Gothic Rock / Alternative / Rock
Release Date: 24th January 2020
Label: SPV / NoCut (Europe) and ADA / Entertainment One (North America)
A well-crafted Gothic album that takes you back to the time of the Inquisitions in medieval Europe and tells the story of the ‘Book Of Fire’, a mystical artefact containing centuries of secret knowledge and how a young healer called Aellin is chosen to be its new guardian. If you like your Goth to be epic and grandiose in sound and style then you might like this. If you like anthemic storytelling then you won’t be disappointed. There are also similarities here to LACRIMOSA, RAMMSTEIN, OOMPH! and THE SISTERS OF MERCY. The accompanying videos for the tracks ‘The Book Of Fire’ and ‘Louder Than Hell’ are slick pieces of eye candy that complement the music perfectly, they also have a veneer of Dutch painter Pieter Bruegel about them.
The title track ‘The Book Of Fire’ is a track of epic ambition which starts off with emphatically grand drums that keep the song moving along at a brisk pace. It’s interspersed with a strong walking bass line and simple but evocative guitars. There is a nice ebb and flow to the piece which is pleasing to the ear. ‘Louder Than Hell’ follows along in the same vein, the only thing that’s changed is that the sound has become a little harder and meatier! When Aellin is burned at the stake in the video this is accompanied by some roaring guitar work that I think compliments the despair and resignation of the character as she is confronted by her woody demise. ‘Warriors’ is an ode to courage. No matter how many of you are persecuted for your views, you must act like warriors and fight for your existence. The tone here is a sombre rally call to inner strength.
‘Where The Raven Flies’ is very severe and introspective with a clear motif to flying. And flying I did, of the mind variety! Although I find this to be not a dislikeable album, I did find myself getting very bored at times and wandering off on a day dream. It’s as if a good idea became too much of a good idea and I wished that a bar less would’ve kept me from drifting off topic. ‘Right For The Devil’ brought back to focus! This is a great track, it reminds me of THE FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM with its twangy guitars at the beginning and near end. I found my foot tapping as I listened to this, taking a short break before getting back into it on the next track ‘The Gods Of Love’.
As I say, this is an ok album, it’s well produced and slick, maybe a little bit too slick for my tastes, and there were those moments of mind wandering I mentioned. The mark of a great album for me is one where I am hooked on it and nothing else matters for the entire duration of its playing. This fell short of that for me and it won't be on my regular playlist. Musically it’s not a classic with mind blowing riffs and superhuman drumming and it does not have that “something” to blow it up into the stratosphere of classics, you dear reader are free to disagree...
01. The Book Of Fire
02. Louder Than Hell
04. Shining Light (Featuring Tilo Wolff)
05. Where The Raven Flies
06. The Last Crusade
07. Death or Life
09. Right For The Devil (Featuring Tanzwut)
10. Run For Your Life
11. The Gods Of Love
12. What Have We Done
Martin Engler – Vocals
Katha Mia – Drums
Carl Fornia – Guitars
Manuel Antoni – Bass
Total: 7 / 10