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Ape Vermin (Sonic Monolith)

Crank this to 9.4 of 11 - Editor's Pick

Released: 2018

Genre: Sludge, Doom

Sounds Like: Weedeater, Conan, High on Fire

The clarity and production on this album is second to none. Crisp as the morning frost on the tips of fresh cut grass. The bellowing sludge that is Ape Vermin has an eye towards a very clean churning sound. The impact and depth at which Brett Lee’s crass yet crystal clear vocals hits will take you aback. The North Carolina trio kick off their debut with well thought out high-end sludge where the cathartic fuzz dominates. Five tracks that engross and some progressive influences that shine on "Abominable Hashmen" (check-out the last minute of fretwork). Recruiting David Paul Seymour to do the artwork was also a brilliant move to add some intrigue to the eye of sludge fans.

Track Listing:

1. Astral Drones (9:28)

2. Oath (4:58)

3. Abominable Hashmen (6:09)

4. Witch-Jive (4:19)

5. Sonic Monolith (12:10)

Standout Track:

We will give the nod to the opener "Astral Drones". The melodies strike a chord with us as we feel the lament in Lee’s fretwork. Laird’s bass-backdrop is downright impressive. The most melodic of the lot blends progressive space rock with good old-fashioned fuzz-churn.

Adult Beverage Pairing:

Nothing better than a rich porter to go with your sludge. North Carolina’s Duck-Rabbit Brewery kills it and their Duck-Rabbit Baltic Porter at 9.0% ABV is rich and thick with love. A full blooded roasty character with almost no burnt flavor is balanced by complex alcohol notes. Strong yet unfailingly subtle, this special brew rewards unhurried attention and kicking back withSonic Monolith.


Captivation and Variety

9.1 out of 11

Weight of the Heavy

9.6 out of 11

Vocal Prowess

8.9 out of 11

Fretwork Prowess

9.4 out of 11

Percussion Prowess

8.9 out of 11

Overall Album Flow

9.3 out of 11


9.1 out of 11

Album Cover Aesthetics

9.5 out of 11

Production Value

10.1 out of 11

Band Members:

Brett Lee- Guitar/vocals/synths

Jeb Laird- Bass

Charlie Burleson- Percussion

Final Thoughts:

We appreciate Ape Vermin’s patience in putting out such a sonically beautiful album. We found ourselves staring into the inner-workings of your speaker cones as the separation of fuzz, fretwork, percussion and bass are jaw-dropping. Harmonic sludge done right with a resounding aura. Sludge fans need this album in their collection.

Follow Ape Vermin: Bandcamp / Facebook


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