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monoinc theclocktickson
Artist: Mono Inc.
Title: The Clock Ticks On (2004-2014)
Genre: Gothic Rock
Release Date: 22nd August 2014
Label: No Cut/ SPV

Album Review

German gothic-rock stalwarts MONO INC represent the perfect soundtrack to the current on-going glut of movies drawing eager, young audiences in. Like ‘The Twilight Saga’, ‘Hunger Games’ and forthcoming ‘The Maze Runner’, there’s a darkly elegant and mystical thread here, and some doe-eyed romanticism with a splash of blood on velvet, candles flickering and the odd howl at the moon. All very nice, yet missing some edginess and real bite that would see them reach a wider audience. There’s something comfortable and safe about the 16 songs offered here in a retrospective glance back at the story so far. The formula is rigidly stuck too throughout, the stadium sized ambition of the sound thwarted only by a lack of anything out of the ordinary. But to be fair, they are very good at what they do.

‘Arabia’ is a good place to start, an exotic OFRA HAZA-style vocal twisting seductively around the dramatic bluster, and on ‘Gothic Queen’ things get even more histrionic. Structured around the symphonic metal blueprint, it does everything you expect it to do, at exactly the right moment, but it’s hard to dislike. Violins skip majestically over the guitars on ‘In My Heart’, and another monstrously vast chorus unfurls with all the subtlety of a hippo. This band have built a career out of The Chorus. And why not? Try not to smile when the female vocals float in on ‘Get Some Sleep’, or stop yourself singing along heartily during ‘My Deal With God’. Even ‘After The War’ lends itself absolutely to a festival crowd, the stop-start refrain of the title a perfect shout-along creation, knowingly geared up for the call and response of a big crowd.

Problems come with the almost identical sound layered over most of the songs here. Take ‘Revenge’ for example. White washes of very 90’s sounding guitar give way to the chuga-chugga technique beloved of power metal. And that’s never going to be a good thing. Too formulaic by far, the clinical production doesn’t help at times. But before the grumbling gets too loud, there’s the thrilling ‘From The Ashes’ to tell you off, the vocal harmonies and driving pace giving your head a happy shake. Even if the lyrics are crap. ‘Superman’ is the final song, a big ballad swaying about confidently like it’s the best thing the band have written. It’s not, but the change of pace is welcome.

MONO INC are, essentially a pop band. And what they are good at is writing pop hits, dressed up in black and fleshed out with metal-lite, and enough drama and minor-chords to give it all a dark, seductive sheen. If judged on this alone, they deserve their success. If you are looking for something more creative, then this collection is probably not for you.


01. Arabia
02. Gothic Queen
03. Symphony Of Pain
04. In My Heart
05. Voices Of doom
06. Seligkeit
07. Get Some Sleep
08. Temple Of The Torn
09. My Deal With God
10. This Is The day
11. After The War
12. Nimmermehr
13. Revenge
14. From The Ashes
15. The Hole
16. Superman


Martin Engler - Vocals
Manuel Antoni - Bass, vocals
Carl Fornia - Guitars, vocals
Katha Mia - Drums, vocals

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Cover Picture

monoinc theclocktickson


Music: 7
Sound: 8
Total: 7.5 / 10

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