"The Psalm"


01. Hanuman's Dance
02. The Word of the Priest
03. The Psalm
04. Involution
05. Feast of the Fools
06. Capharnaum
07. Our Kingdom (Involution Pt. II)

RATING: 7/10

You had me at MONKEYPRIEST, or at least upon absorption of this Spanish band's no-frills (none needed) sludge metal methodology on the "Defending the Tree" EP. On full-length "The Psalm", you will once again be "feeling the primate supremacy," a line lifted from "Our Kingdom (Involution Pt. II)" to make a point, if an overstated one, about the solidness of the album. Of course, my use of the line in this context has nothing to do with the lyricists' intended meaning, which speaks to notions of a natural world at cross purposes with a human one. It is one told with forwardness on a title track that weaves a tale of an ape-led effort to eradicate the human race. Pardon the slight digression; it is at least a relevant one in pertinence to "The Psalm".

In any case, the approach taken by MONKEYPRIEST during the seven songs of "The Psalm" is one that hits straight on and is musically forthright. That is, there isn't much bullshitting around here; only solid mid-paced sludge grinding with just enough variation and attention to detail to keep the ride an interesting one. Keeping track lengths to around six or seven minutes leaves enough time to let that lava flow unabated, but not so long that one forgets what song is playing at any given point in time. A cover of CEREBRAL FIX's "Feast of the Fools" offers change around the edges, including vocal inflection, but never veers off course. Chilling light-picking parts, effective transitioning, some robust riffing, and better sound clarity than is usual for the style all work in unison to make "The Psalm" an enjoyably teeth-gritting experience.

Not quite as whiskey-drunk and pathological as EYEHATEGOD or as purposefully corrosive and grotesque as GRIEF, MONKEYPRIEST nonetheless live in a dilapidated house just down the same potholed street in that very same decaying urban neighborhood. Parts of it brought DUKATALON to mind for whatever that's worth. The point is that "The Psalm" is sludge-worthy for fans and random nihilists alike. "In the name of the monkey you'll be blessed". Yep, it's another line from that same song we discussed earlier. You'll want to read the lyrics, obviously.


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