Technical metal, despite being a genre host to an ardent following and scene the world over, could be seen as a sufferer of it’s own success. Over the past decade or so, the genre has exploded in popularity on a global scale, with countless bands attempting to create work in the key of the originating pioneers of the movement. Of course, with such an influx, the genre has seen a long standing saturation of artists dabbling in the exact same contrived cliches and conventions, flooding the scene with critically uninspired work that obscures the few select bands harboring genuine originality and creativity. However, every few years a band will emerge and utterly blindside all with stunning aural punishment and a sense of permuting modernisation. Monasteries are one such act.
Born from a shared love of all things erratic and aurally lacerating, the tech-death quintet have arose to become prominent figures not just within the UK tech-metal scene, but the nation’s hardcore and deathcore communities too. By throwing out the rigid blueprint that many uninspired acts have been reliant on for years, Monasteries conduct a maelstrom of mutilating noise that ravages all in a fashion most unpredictable and volatile. Throughout their sound, glass tipped riffs thrash before instantly metamorphosing into something new entirely and their tempo changes stutter and seize without hesitation. Their 2018 effort Pulmonary Failure and their 2020 single ‘The Amygdala Chorus’ demonstrated this with fury aplomb, with such offerings sounding akin to a mutant hybridisation of the fervent volatility within The Number Twelve Looks Like You with the ignorant bludgeoning of The Acacia Strain. Infused with the palatable experimentation fervent within the UK’s underground community, Monasteries' aberrant experimentations in high density unpredictability authentically harken back to the early days when extreme tech-metal was a new and terrifyingly intense proposal.
Despite being unable to perform on their spiritual home of the stage - an environment the group have shared alongside Loathe, Ingested and Annotations Of An Autopsy - the band are currently gearing up for their biggest year thus far. With the release of their searing new single ‘Allowing Your Traitors To Die’ coinciding with their signing to Seek And Strike, 2021 is the year where Monasteries dominate the extreme metal scene and make their claim as the new sound of the skilled yet disjointed youth.
With their aforementioned new single lacerating the flesh of all those listening, we got in touch with the band to discuss their origins, their future, the bleak nature of existence and more.
For those new to Monasteries, how would you introduce your band?
"We’re a five piece technical deathcore band from the UK that brings chaotic, heavy and erratic music to your ears, if you’re a fan of The Acacia Strain, The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza and Oceano then this is for you."
Your new single ‘Allowing Your Traitors To Die’ is just been released. Talk us through the message and inspiration behind the track and video.
"The message behind the track is an honest realisation of our reality and how some people won’t accept they’re bad as one another, whether they show their toxic traits out of spite or not, they’re constantly blaming the other person for everything which then starts to take a downfall on their mental health and makes them question everything. The video is inspired by the films Hostile and Saw, being trapped in that bleak surrounding not knowing what is going to happen and just a constant back and fourth argument between the characters. Funnily enough the lighting idea came about with me messing around in my room with a Darth Vader key chain that had a light on it and I thought it would be sick if we had something similar to that and have each band member fade in and out of it.
You’ve also announced you're now signed to Seek And Strike. How you feeling about being signed to the label?
"We're incredibly stoked to be signed to such an amazing label that also works with some great bands like Orbit Culture, Upon A Burning Body and many more, We can’t wait for our future with Seek And Strike because we are more than positive that we are going to smash 2021 together. "
There’s an extreme level of erratic unpredictability to your sound, what’s your approach to writing and recording?
"We’ve tried writing over the internet but we found our best work comes together when we’re all in the same room having a drink and a good time, our writing approach changes a lot it’ll either start of as Dan writing some drums for then Aaron or Ben to come up with stuff over it or Ben and Aaron come up with some riffs, write some temporary drums and then Dan will come in and make some changes to whatever feels best for him then obviously vocals will come last."
A lot of your lyrical themes explore the misery and abjectly bleak nature of life. Could you elaborate on that?
"They’re a true representation of the world we live in and showcase some of the issues and problems that we’ve had to face whether that’s dealing with a bad state of mind, losing loved ones, dealing with toxic people, people coming and going, we just write how it is and we want people to connect with that."
Even though it’s been grim at best, was the last year or so productive for you guys?
"Last year was productive because we played some amazing shows and we released ‘The Amygdala Chorus’ which has done amazing and we never thought it would blow up like that, we were lucky enough to be able to get into the studio again and record some of our newer stuff which is our best work to date and we can’t wait to show everyone what is in store."
You’ve been a common fixture within the UK hardcore and deathcore scene for quite some years now. What’s your thoughts on the national scene?
"The national scene is amazing there is so many insane bands out there that we would love to play with like Reflections, L’exquisite Douleur and VCTMS, hopefully in the future we can make it out there and visit new territory.
Before the pandemic hit you toured pretty relentlessly. What have been the best shows you’ve played so far?
"It’s hard to say because January 2020 we played Newcastle and the show was non stop movement but Guildford in 2019 was just as chaotic as that, people singing the lyrics and just receiving the same energy back."
Finally, what’s next for Monasteries?
"We’ve currently got some tours this year but we’re uncertain if it’s going to happen but if that doesn’t we’re just going to keep writing until we can get back out there and smash it out."