Finland’s For The Imperium describe Hail The Monsters as “an album on which everything you’ve ever been taught about music has been destroyed, defecated upon and, finally, defenestrated”. It’s a bold statement to say the least, but it’s one that we can’t disagree with – everything good we’ve ever liked about music has, indeed, been well and truly shat on.
Also in their own words, the album is “a freaking train wreck” and provides little pleasure upon hearing. Opening track ‘Take a Breath’ begins with a confusing electronic section that then self-destructs into purposely jagged chaos, whilst ‘Northern Rampage’ sounds completely different in the same unpleasant way.
‘Sexual Advisory’ then attempts to add some Faith No More into the carnage, which – after four tracks – confirms their approach of trying anything and everything to redefine music. Nothing fits, nothing flows and no two songs sound the same and that’s precisely the way they wanted it to be.
Most surprising is the sprinkling of melody in ‘Heaven Shall Fall’ that is actually bordering on enjoyable, believe it or not. It’s the occasional moment like this that frustrates even more because they are proof that a little bit of simplicity and normality could have kept this high-speed train on the tracks. But that’s not For The Imperium’s way, apparently.
Yes, it’s unique. Yes, we’ve never heard anything like it – so they’ve succeeded in that respect – but, it’s also something we never want to listen to again. Was that also their aim? Probably.
Now it’s our turn to defenestrate the record.
Reviewer: Matt Borucki