Monument – “Hellhound” (Rock of Angels Records)
Formed on the mean streets of East London by ex White Wizard vocalist Peter Ellis, Monument is his latest champion in spiriting on the quest for true British heavy metal! Inspired by British greats like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, along with a helping hand from Ireland’s Thin Lizzy, Monument takes all the galloping moments, warbling melodies, twanging bass, and twin fret board burning to deliver 9 tracks that the band’s mascot – Jack – would positively bark and wail in glee to. Probably named after the delectable mutt, “Hellhound” is the band’s 3rd released and is produced by Tony Newton, who worked with Iron Maiden on “The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter”. As such, I’d wager that this is the band’s finest hour given the quality of both the material and the sound, which thankfully still retains its live feel. From ‘The Chalice’ with its catchy lead melodies and even more memorable chorus, there’s still plenty of heaviness thanks to the deep bass of Daniel Bate while Ellis comes across as lighter version of Halford and Bruce Dickinson conveniently rolled into one, while still retaining a slightly rougher edge probably honed in those rough East End back alleys! On the slower homage to Priest number of ‘Nightrider’ the brooding heaviness shines through as Ellis really shows his forceful highs and power screaming while the simple, yet incredibly catchy riffs bite into your soul before drummer Gio Durst goes for a double bass drumming finale. Closer ‘Straight Through The Heart’ takes it right from the twin melodic guitars of 70s hard rock although having more 80s feel in the chorus with plenty of soul in Ellis’s voice and a very stylish 90s guitar solo – wow. “Hellhound” is no nonsense pie and mash like they serve at the Captain Kidd!