For a while late last year and earlier this year, I was involved in a project that a group of friends and I came up with called The Monolith. In its initial stages, the basic idea was this: three blogs — The Number Of The Blog, No Clean Singing, and Heavy Blog Is Heavy — would come together to create a hub dedicated to the best of music and film centered around this community of underground music fans. There was a board of five editors when I left, but now there remains the two forces which are now the heart and soul of The Monolith, my good friends Quigs Quigley (of the now defunct The Number of the Blog)  and former Heavy Blog editor Chris ‘Disinformasiya’ Grenville.

In its early phase, I dropped off the project for several reasons. I’ve recently taken up an internship for my major, which cut back tremendously on my day job as well as my time working on this very website. I needed the ad revenue that this site gets to stay afloat, and I was right. Without my work on this site I probably would have had many uncomfortably hungry days. Most importantly though, Heavy Blog is my ‘baby’ of sorts, and I just wasn’t ready to give it up yet. I like the way things are ran here, and the thought of losing control frankly scared me. I was also in a bad state of mind at the time and was being a bit of a pessimist, but that’s neither here nor there.

However, in the past few months that Quigs and Chris have been developing The Monolith, it has grown with great promise and ambition, and I am beyond excited that they are finally unveiling this new site that I had once thought would never see the light of day, and as it stands right now, totally exceeds expectations. Features that were thrown around in passing that I thought wouldn’t work are now apparently blossoming behind the scenes, and I couldn’t be happier to be wrong.

So what is The Monolith now? What’s the deal? What makes another metal website worth my time? Well, first off, it’s not just another metal blog. Sure, it may seem that way at first glance, but that’s just one aspect of what The Monolith is about. News, reviews, interviews, and the like will be common to be sure, created by an experienced staff that you may recognize as coming and going the past few years through the community at large.

There’s also a special emphasis on community which will undoubtedly make The Monolith stand out. An account with The Monolith isn’t just some hamfisted excuse to post comments, it’s like a social network account. Users of the site (‘Acolytes,’ as they are referred) will get their own profiles to allow blogging, interaction with fellow users, and creating events. Users will also have access to a multitude of features, ranging from free music, podcasts, and prizes (which they are already rolling out on Facebook).

There’s also a special calendar feature to the site which allows fans to track tour dates which one can narrow down by band, genre, city, state, and even venue. There’s no excuse to miss a show when you can log in to The Monolith and search your favorite artist for their latest run of dates or punch in your favorite venue to check out relevant shows. The best part is, the calendar is also crowd-sourced, meaning Acolytes can add dates for their own band’s local show for others to check out.

On top of all this, The Monolith will also function somewhat as a record label via Monolithic Records, which will release select artists’ music digitally through the site initially, and if the demand is there, the site will produce physical copies (including vinyl) and merchandise. So as you can see, The Monolith has pretty much everything on would like out of a website catered specifically to this music scene.

After the mystery has been building over the last year, it has finally come to fruition. The Monolith is a social enterprise under which we can all take shelter. The site is still undergoing development, but it shows much promise. With artwork by prolific artist Par Olofsson (The Faceless, Immolation, pretty much every death metal band ever) and development by Sylosis guitarist Alex Bailey’s Dime Digital Media (the folks responsible for Tesseract’s website), the site should both look and work exceptionally well.

I’d be lying if I said I knew all the details, but to get more information, visit The Monolith on Facebook and check out the ‘Notes’ section for their continuing series of posts detailing the site and its features. Visit The Monolith and sign up for the mailing list to get updates and a heads up for when the site sees the light of day.

– JR

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