Album Review: The Beautiful Monument - I'm The Reaper

Artist: The Beautiful Monument

Album: I’m The Reaper

Genre: Alternative Pop/Rock

Review by Karl O’Shea

I’m The Reaper is the sophomore album from Melbourne band The Beautiful Monument which attempts to explore subjects like grief, mental health, family issues and devastating loss using the cathartic power of rock with the catchiness of pop. The problem here is that I’m The Reaper rarely rocks out and despite the abundance of melody, there are very few earworms to be found.

Opening track “Give Up” sets the tone for the album and also the template that every single song follows throughout these ten tracks. What you get is an over-reliance of soft/loud dynamics, big melodic choruses (with some occasional electronic flourishes), a bridge that occurs exactly when you expect it to and a polished, made-for-radio veneer, all falling with an easily digestible 3-4 minutes each.

The Beautiful Monument may be an alternative-pop/rock band but most of the emphasis on this album seems to be on the pop part of their formula. Each song wastes little time and sounds very much like what you would hear on Triple M or any other mainstream rock radio. The brevity of this album is one of it’s few strengths as no one track overstays its welcome. Neither do many of these tracks leave much of an impression, with most of the variation coming from the electronic elements shoe-horned into each track.

There are a few moments of inspiration - tracks like “Invisible” and “Ida” actually remember to rock out with some In Flames-lite riffage to help differentiate them from the driving chord progressions that form the backbone of the majority of the album. Lizi’s vocals are also reminiscent of Lacey Sturm (Flyleaf) and are smartly placed at the front of the mix. What’s lacking however, is the freshness and verve that bands like Flyleaf and their ilk did so well back in the mid-2000s.

Which is another problem that this record runs into - besides the synths that pop up all over the place, this album very much sounds like every pop-rock/emo/alt release that cluttered up the airwaves a decade ago and I’m not sure enough time has passed for that sound to be making a comeback. That being said, if you dig Flyleaf, early Paramore, or Evanescence, you may find something you like on I’m The Reaper. It’s a record that has some moments but The Beautiful Monument are far from outpacing their influences.

Rating: 5/10

“I’m The Reaper” is out now via Greyscale Records.

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