[News] Monosphere published the official video for the track “Ava” taken from their upcoming album

Mainz, Germany based Progressive/Post-Metal act Monosphere published the official video for the track “Ava” taken from their upcoming album “Sentience” due out on October 20, 2023. Watch the video through the YouTube player below:

Stream the track here: https://bfan.link/monosphere-ava

Album context:

“And when you debut this strong, one can only imagine what the follow up will be”, says Cory Westbrock from Knotfest. With having released their debut album “The Puppeteer” all by themselves, German Prog Metallers Monosphere truly got themselves in a pole position for their next steps. Having supported bands like The OceanThe Dear HunterNapalm DeathAttila among short tours supporting Rolo TomassiCelesteImperial Triumphant in 2022 and 2023, Monosphere already have proven how versatile their music is and how well it works in different genre-settings.

Critically acclaimed by media, the band has released three singles before the official album announcement. For the album, the band again worked with Phil Kaase (The Mixing Mine) on production and mixing of “Sentience,” while having Jens Bogren mastering it. The album will be released on October 20 via Blood Blast Distribution (digital) and the band themselves.

About the concept of “Sentience”:

Alan Turing‘s groundbreaking Turing Test proposed in 1950 sought to address a fundamental question: can a machine exhibit human-like intelligence and consciousness? The test relies on an evaluator’s ability to communicate with an unknown entity through a computer interface. If the evaluator cannot distinguish whether they are interacting with a human or a machine based solely on the responses received, then the machine would be considered sentient according to the test. While Turing‘s test opened the door to evaluating machine intelligence, it also highlights the inherent limitations of external observation in determining true sentience. The Turing Test relies on an external perspective—the human evaluator—to judge the machine’s responses. Can an external evaluator truly discern the difference, especially when contemplating whether a real person or artificial intelligence composed this very paragraph?

Monosphere’s “Sentience” explores the intriguing mind of a nameless protagonist – a machine breaking free of its set daily loop. Amidst the incorporation of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and modern technology in and around the album, Monosphere poignantly prompts the listener with a thought-provoking query amidst the surging tide of AI’s prominence: Can one discern the subtleties distinguishing the creative output of human artistry from the influence of technological prowess?

About the music on “Sentience” (not meant for publishing):

Starting with “Preface,” Monosphere reveal a new-found post-rock side that slowly builds up with atmospheric strings, Jazzy piano and dreamy guitar melodies led by Kevin Ernst’s soft and mellow vocals that are also showing a raw and energetic side. Having worked with Matthew Dakoutro as a string player, the band now offers their most organic sound to date. It’s a synth-focused sound that contrasts the organic strings when “Borderline Syndrome” throws the listeners into Monosphere’s techy side. A side branching from chaotic mathcore to Black Metal in style of Der Weg Einer Freiheit, mashed with BTBAM-ish Prog and stomping Cult Of Luna-esque Post-Metal vibes, always delivering a distinct core of atmosphere. “Borderline Syndrome” might be one of the band’s most Experimental tracks, offering trumpets throughout a Smooth Café Jazz part, followed by an Epic Prog Metal chorus – only to get crushed by the band’s first dip into symphonic deathcore waters in a Lorna Shore manner.

Following the synth-driven approach of its predecessor and being influenced by LLNN’s dystopian soundscape approach, “Smoke & Wires” reveals Monosphere at their darkest. Raw, aggressive and with a decent Black Metal influence, there’s a devastating vibe within this track that is once again bound in a depressing atmosphere full of synths and dark strings. A short mathy interplay followed by the band’s heaviest breakdown to date gets contrasted by another Jazzy intersection. A melodic finale culminates in the heavy break section that now features lyrics in a language written by AI – in order to underline the thematic concept. Something that stands out in direct comparison to Monosphere’s debut “The Puppeteer” is their approach to write songs, with recurring parts, as main songwriter Rodney Fuchs states.

One focus while writing “Sentience” was to create songs that work within its concept, but also for themselves.

Thus, being found in “Friends & Foes,” form-wise B-side to “Smoke & Wires” and featuring Siamese singer Mirza Radonjica who delivers the final chorus. “Friends & Foes” probably shows Monosphere’s most technical track to date with a riff heavy Between The Buried And Me-vibe throwing listeners back to their Alaska-times. In direct contrast, “Bleak” might give you the most beautiful vibes that a Monosphere track has offered so far. In between a string quartet, clean vocals and a Post-Rock atmosphere there’s enough momentum to gain goosebumpy moments. While drawing influences from Rolo Tomassi and mishmashing them with post-black aspects, “Bleak” creates a cinematic climax full of energy and emotion.

As main songwriter Rodney comments:

“The main goal for writing a Monosphere track is to bring all of our influences together and make a unique blend of it that clearly sounds like Monosphere. The more music we write, the closer we get to this goal, while there’s still room left!”

A stylistic change on Monosphere’s sophomore album starts with “Ava”, the centerpiece of “Sentience”  and Marlon Palm’s first contribution to the band’s songwriting. Ambient guitar tapping builds up on momentum until guitar chords hit in with groove-orientated drumming. Drawing influences from bands like Textures, “Ava” offers a djenty side of Monosphere combined with Amenra-esque clean parts. Such as a Tool-influenced intersection and polyrhythmic elements that make “Ava” a complex track with its very own inner dramaturgy. “Ava” delivers a snapshot of what Post-Metalcore could have been if Metalcore itself wouldn’t have fallen for trends.

Another cinematic interlude builds bridges to “Human Disguise.” Starting with BTBAMy Prog Metal craziness, there’s a Black Metal side similar to Celeste, making “Human Disguise” a fast-paced and Heavy-hitting track. Searching for another commitment to Post-Metal, “Living Flame” reveals a clear Cult Of Luna influence combined with a vibe drawn from BTBAM’s “The Great Misdirect,” groovy Meshuggah-rhythms among gnarly Post-Metal breaks. A well needed break might be found in “Intermission,” the band’s first fully Instrumental Post-Rock experiment reigned by ethereal atmospheric elements and a strong musical narrative.

Method Acting” can be seen as the beginning of the grand finale on “Sentience.” An epic build-up leads to the fastest track Monosphere has ever written. Fast blast beats, many riffs and a tech death-loaden approach lead to a heavy-hitting piece of destruction. “Method Acting” lies somewhere in between Fit For An AutopsyRivers Of Nihil and Jinjer while showing a clear and Pop-induced structure making it quite accessible. Quite minimalistic, “Turing Test” follows up seamlessly. Starting with a Post-Metal vibe the song quickly transforms into the conceptual center piece of “Sentience.” Having Jim Grey (Caligula’s Horse) as a narrator, there’s a very special vibe about this melancholiac and depressing track. A stompy and Djenty Groove sets “Turing Test” apart from Monosphere’s technical experiments, while the break section at the ending is a direct answer to the band’s song “The Lover” and delivering the emotionally most crushing part of their album.

Sentience” is found as the last track of the same titled album and catching up where “Preface” left us off before the chaos begins. A clear reprise of the album’s opener frames the album into one conceptual piece. A totality that now makes perfect sense. As Rodney furthermore comments.

“This album is easily our best work to date, and we can’t wait to share it with the world. It’s been a lot of time, work and money spent on this release, but we feel confident that it was fully worth it. Fans of “The Puppeteer” will find references among many little details that we tried to incorporate in a not too obvious way. Make sure to have a listen and tell us what you think about this album!”

The production of “Sentience” was supported by Initiative Musik. “Sentience” will be released on October 20 via Blood Blast Distribution (digital) and the band themselves (physical) on vinyl (500) and CD (300).

Album credits:

All lyrics written by Kevin Ernst
All music written by Rodney Fuchs & Marlon Palm

Recorded, Produced & Mixed by Phil Kaase (The Mixing Mine)
Mastered by Jens Bogren (Fascination Street)

Guitars by Lukas Klotz & Valentin Noack
Vocals & Layerings by Kevin Ernst
Bass Guitar & Additional Guitars by Marlon Palm
Drums, Additional Keys, Programming & Arrangements by Rodney Fuchs

Tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11 & 12 written by Rodney Fuchs
Tracks 2, 6, 7 & 8 written by Marlon Palm & Rodney Fuchs

Piano on Track 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 & 12 by Daniel Paterok
Violin, Viola & Cello on Track 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9 & 12 by Matthew Dakoutro
Flugelhorn and Trumpet on Track 2 & 3 by Gergö Bille
Guest Vocals on Track 4 by Mirza Radonjica (Siamese)
Spoken Word on Track 10 by Jim Grey (Caligula’s Horse)

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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