Monument is the new band formed a mere 10 months ago by ex-White Wizzard/The More I See frontman, Peter Ellis. What this collective hope to achieve is nothing less than to bring true British Heavy Metal back to the masses. Monument derives influences from bands such as Judas Priest, Dio and Iron Maiden. My question is if that sound still relevant? Is it a sound that still has an audience? And most importantly, if we do see a sudden heavy metal revival, will there be enough “uniqueness” within Monument’s arsenal so that they become band in their own right as opposed to just a tribute act to their illustrious forefathers?
Peter Ellis has a fairly impressive history. He’s recently returned from L.A after a stint fronting traditional heavy metal giants White Wizzard and before that he hooked up with ex-Prodigy guitarist Gizz Butt in CackBlabbath’s favourite UK thrashers The More I See. However, however one gets the impression that this project is where Ellis’ passion and heart truly lie. Joined by Ben Lundy and Lewis Stephens on guitars, Dave Rimmer on bass guitar and Arn Rogan occupying the drum stool, Monument have stated some fairly lofty ambitions, so the expectant Twitrfest crowd were keen to see if they could live up to the hype.
Twitrfest is only the second show that Monument have played together. Their first was a showcase at London’s infamous Crobar which the band managed to fill to capacity.
Not bad for a band who have yet to release their first EP.
Kicking their set off with Rock the Night, it is easy to see that Ellis has a natural passion for performing. Coupling a captivating stage presence with tremendous vocal delivery he really does have the right mix of qualities to be at the height of his art. He is complimented by a band that seem to share his musical vision and be able to deliver mesmerising riffs which fit the vocal style perfectly.
Second song of the set, Midnight Queen, is one of those annoyingly catchy tracks that you find yourself humming days later, craving another listen. Monument clearly know how to write a tune and, more importantly, boy do they know how to deliver. Blood Red Sky is followed by Fatal Attack, a monster Priest meets Dio thunderous Heavy Metal track that will be the band’s first single released this April through Transcend.
The crowd at the Snooty Fox in Wakefield were extremely receptive to the bands own material. However, as with everything, when the crowd is familiar with the songs the energy in the room amplifies ten-fold. This was no different when Monument launched into Thin Lizzy’s Emerald, for one of those “you had to be there” moments. The set finished with The Green Manalishi, a Judas Priest cover, originally penned by Fleetwood Mac. They left the audience throwing horns and wanting more. There is something about Peter Ellis. His stage presence demands attention and he certainly got the crowd nicely warmed up for Trucker Diablo, Triaxis and Furyon who were yet to come.
So to recap on my initial concerns; Is there still a market for true British heavy metal? Saturday’s audience in the very least show that there is. Does Monument have what it takes to carve out there own identity to bring the genre back with a modern twist? I think they just might. The influences of greats such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden are obvious, however that’s no bad thing. Monument are more than capable of developing their own distinctive style within the walls of the traditional genre.
On the basis of the talent and energy the band showed the Twitrfest crowd, I think you’ll be hearing about Monument for a long time to come.