Yesterday, Swiss band Beansidhe released its third album, Mónt. Totaling six tracks in length, the release harnesses the group’s creative energy into a sound that spans the death metal, thrash, and black metal genres (just to name a few). Think early Amon Amarth, with just a hint of Cradle of Filth and Virgin Black.
For the past few years, Beansidhe has primarily focused on producing music as opposed to live shows. After one listen to Mónt, it’s easy to see why. This is not music that will bring crowds roaring to their feet, nor does it have the type of pacing people can move to. Rather, it’s music truly meant to be listened to. When explored without distractions, Mónt has the potential to sweep listeners off their feet and into new surroundings.
Aside from the title track—which frankly does not fit the pacing and mood of the rest of the album—Mónt is mostly played in mid-tempo with thrash elements thrown in here and there. While I personally cannot attest to the lyrics (as they are not in either of my spoken languages), the band says that they “explore the inner feelings of solitary men, touch on the wonders of nature, and deal with concepts of man’s spiritual elevation to deity.”
Second track, “Spazi” sets up Mónt’s gloomy atmosphere. The guitars are especially haunting, as the riffs dance with each other from the opening of the track. The song progresses throughout a series of tempos that all come back to the original arrangement in a way that breaks its into several chapters. Again, I couldn’t personally tell you the story that’s being told through the minimal amount growling and shrieking, but it does feel like a journey through uninhabited wilderness.
The rest of the album carries on this saga remarkably through its instrumentation, with the vocals filling the backstage area. It’s difficult to point to any tracks as true standouts, as their effect would be more limited without the preceding and following songs. “Febraar” is possibly the most unique of the songs, given its quicker pace throughout, the incorporation of chanting and wicked whispering, and its overall mystical feeling.
Ultimately, Beansidhe’s Mónt is the perfect soundtrack for a dreary day or contemplative mood. The layers within the music are quite good, and there is a lot going on with the guitars on each track. However, it doesn’t quite leave the lasting impact of a metal masterpiece.