Often it is the subtle things that really take an album from being good to being magnificent. The details that so often can go overlooked are the most important things in album that employ soundscapes and industrial noise. They can be the hardest thing to add to the album because they can seem so insignificant but the reward for adding them, those painstaking little nuances, to the listener far outweighs the difficulty in adding them. Kolhoosi 13 really mastered that with their new album “Monuments of Power.”
The story for the album is the rapid increase of mechanical power without the corresponding morals to govern that new world. This results in the catastrophic end of civilization, and pours humanity down through the hourglass sand into oblivion and desolation. It’s hard to categorize what exactly this album is, it starts off as industrial ambient but as the album goes on and hope for humanity dwindles, the industrial sounds give way to natural, or at least more natural than the mechanized drones that begin the album. The ability to slowly draw out the industrial influences and replace them with natural sounds, though terrifying and sinister in nature, is nothing short of genius. It adds more to the story than anything else on the album, though seriously the soft drone and eerie cicada like chittering is a crazy like a fox innovation. I cannot accurately say how much I loved this. The story is the general and rapid decline of all technological advancements and the reconquest of nature. As I said earlier, this detail really opens the album up, it really advances the story, it makes it real, gives it color and texture; I can’t say enough good things about it. Monuments of Power is a bleak look at the landscape of a desolated world, a world so focused on what it could do that it doesn’t stop to think that maybe it couldn’t do something. It’s almost tragic, this story of the end of humanity’s reign on earth. Yet at the same time it’s really about nature’s reclamation of the planet, the slow and quiet forces of time turning the planet back into what it was meant to be, wiping out the scars of mankind and their “monuments of power.”
There are so many onion-like layers to the story, each revealing a little more than the last with each listen, new subtlies, new ideas, new themes and sounds. This was a magnificent album, one of those that stays with you long after you’ve listened to it.
Listen and support!