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Published: 2013/12/28
by Kevin Tshiamala

Monks of Mellonwah
Afraid to Die

Monks of Mellonwah are a quartet based in Sydney, Australia. MOM was formed in 2009, but made a heavy splash in the industry in 2010. As Marcel wrote, “Since the Monks of Mellonwah came onto the music scene in 2010 they have made appearances on MTV, won “Best Indie Rock Band” at the 2012 Artist in Music Awards, and won “Best International Rock Artist” at the 2012 L.A. Music Awards” (Huffington Post). Though this may be, I didn’t vote and I’m not convinced. There is no doubt the four are musically talented and produce good music, but they are merely participating. With Afraid to Die, they have yet to add something new to the conversation.

The title track, “Afraid to Die,” jump starts Volume two with a heavy bass line, rock riff, and drum beat. Few moments later, the vocals by Vikram Kaushik are spot on adhering to that 90’s rock vibe – reminding us that music is deeply missing the sounds of Tool and RATM. Other than the painful, but kind reminder and their instrumental ability, the song is lacking in innovation – leave this style to Muse. “Downfall” is next. The song has a bit of an interesting start, opening up with a riff reminiscent to that of DragonForce. It is then accompanied by the said spot on 90’s vocals and a Tom Morello-ish guitar. The song carries on with good solos, break downs, and interplay, but not much else. This brings us to “Alive For A Minute.” The tune is creative with a lot going on and great potential. Volume two closes with “I Belong To You.” It is an acoustic song that showcases the vocal range and lyrical ability of Vikram Kaushik. The track is touching, but it is missing something – maybe an orchestral accompaniment, background singers, a triangle, anything.

With this now on the table, we have to keep in mind that Afraid to Die is simply part two of the trilogy that is Turn the People. Standing on its own Afraid to Die does not live up to MOM’s accolades and praise by the masses. After listening to Ghost Stories and Afraid to Die back to back to get that feel of what the finish product is hinting towards, Afraid to Die aims to be the Godfather Part III to Volume one and the yet to be released three. The heavy orchestral influence on Sky and Dark Knight and the heavy resemblances to the likes of RHCP on Ghost Stories is a great start to the career of Monks of Mellonwah. They showcase their ability to be innovative in their style rather than complacent. Though this is, the progression of their music seems to have halted, if only for a brief four tracks on Afraid to Die. Volume three will be released soon and I hope they have more to add.

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