Having a name like Monsterworks certainly sets the bar high, assuming that the name describes the band as well as just names it. But it certain fits a band that embraces basically any brand of metal that fits the songs they write. Monsterworks admits that their influences are "stolen" but I wouldn't call it that at all. When a band is talented enough to veer from black metal to prog metal to straight forward metal so effortlessly without ever sounding scattered or unsure of their identity, THAT is what pure talent is! Due to this, Monsterworks never really sound like another band - they just sound like mad scientists!
The six tracks on "The
Existential Codex" cover all of the aforementioned styles but the bottom line is they are all well written and extremely well arranged songs."Higgs Field" is a slow, black metal infused sludgefest. "Ripple Effect" is a song Mastodon should have done but is far too evil and clever for them! "Engine" shows the range that Monsterworks has. It starts acoustic, with a cello before attacking you with some very brutal metal. "Temple of Distortion" starts slow but it turns into a more classic NWOBHM style during the chorus, sorta!
That's the beauty of Monsterworks. You notice the nods to the different styles but often they mix together to create something new. "Tapping the Void" has a similar style to "Temple of Distortion" so the album has plenty of flow, for anyone concerned that it might not. My favorite track is the epic closer "The Ride" which has a massive feel to it and covers a ton of ground and styles at the same time. It even gets mellow almost midway through with one of my favorite parts on the album - great harmonies too!
This is my first exposure to Monsterworks and I am hooked. I should mention that this is more of a sampler of the album since the physical copy has TWICE as many songs AND a 5.1 surround sound mix! The band has 14 albums too! If I were to compare them to anyone, it would have to be Devin Townsend - just on the amount and quality of work that they are capable of. Obviously this is a must buy. The digital version, which includes these songs only, is "Name Your Price" on their Bandcamp site, so you have nothing to lose. I will need to buy the physical copy since I NEED the rest!