With Monument, Miss May I has attempted to refine their sound and pull things together a bit more. Great vocals, both clean and screamed, are present. With Levi Benton’s wide range being used in layers at times, they have found a strength they can rely on. From the first track, “Our Kings,” it becomes apparent that there are going to be far more clean vocals than those in Apologies Are For The Weak. I remember first listening to “Relentless Chaos” upon its early release, crossing my fingers that the rest of the album would be different. I should’ve known there was not much hope.
As to be expected, Jerod Boyd presents listeners phenomenal drumming, and, as it should, this drumming successfully dominates the album as far as mixing goes. While the band’s sound has taken a slight change in riffing, they are still stuck within the same scales and riffing patterns, which unfortunately leaves the majority of tracks sounding similar. They have become a lot like their cherished artist, As I Lay Dying, with a sound most comparable to their album, An Ocean Between Us. In fact, the beginning to the track, “Answers,” sounds a little too closely related to AILD’s An Ocean Between Us for my liking. I understand that there are only so many things you can do with a guitar, and influences are huge, but I’d like to think this young, extremely talented band is capable of being more original. Much heaviness has been let go, but this is still a very listenable album. Having heard demo versions of tracks on AAFTW before its release, and then later the album versions, the tracks seemed to have been perfected over time. This makes me wonder if the band was forced to rush their consideration due to having less time to write this album.
My favorite track from the album would have to be the title track, “Monument.” It brings back tri-tone in breakdowns, interesting rhythms that seem to drag and scrape, and has some of the best drumming on the album. The choppy, well-timed triplet chugs remind me of AAFTW. Insane footwork can be heard at nearly every point in the song, with awesome cymbal surprises. The ending breakdown is added to by the prominent bass and guitar dive-bombs, even though it may be open string chugging the entire time.
A least favorite for me is “Masses Of A Dying Breed.” While the clean intro is something new to the band, the power chords that drive the riff just seem old and boring. They’re far too predictable and certainly not quite as ‘powerful’ as they once were. Although the track is lacking in some aspects and is one of the least intricate, it does have one of the better breakdowns from the album.
This is certainly not a bad album, just not what I would like to see from Miss May I. Apologies Are for the Weak will always be one of my favorite albums, but I feel that Monument falls a little short. They may want to be seen in a different light, as not everyone wants to be a breakdown band, but I thought they had much more going for them in the prior album. Had this album been more diverse rather than a standard metalcore album, it would probably have been much more enjoyable. Nevertheless, you will not want to miss them on the Corruptour, alongside Whitechapel and Impending Doom.