Despite picking up high profile followers such as tennis star Venus Williams and opening for the likes of Trust Company, AotS have failed to build on the promising start made by their debut disc ‘Aurora’. Although perhaps flawed by its intrinsic sameness ‘Aurora’ nevertheless hit the sweet spot with its low down crunch and layered harmony vocals, giving them a unique if not quintessential sound.
‘Monarchs…’ suffers from the curse of nu metal; over aggression, and over complication, a condition that somewhat roughs the edges of the bands uniqueness.
Held back by a more organic sound, where the guitars are given prime position the tendency is to sacrifice melody and songwriting for brute force. ‘Dreams’ and ‘Not Enough’ exemplify this ably, sounding like an uncomfortable hybrid of The Deftones and the Lighthouse Family. It isn’t all bad however, with the commercial tones of new single ‘Therapy’, ‘So Long’ and ‘Not Enough’ bringing up the rear. The fact that AotS rely on the multilayered chorus hook rather than writing consistent material, gives a clue as to what you should expect from this album.