Like Rats sound like Black Breath – except if Black Breath sounded more like Obituary than Entombed – and, if that sounds like something you might like then you’ll probably like Like Rats.
There isn’t a whole lot of nuance to Like Rats’ sound. Death Monolith is one of those album you know if you’re going to like from the very first second – heck, even from just from the album name alone: Death Monolith. Hell yeah! The Chicagoan outfit’s sound is rooted far more firmly in traditional death metal than Black Breath’s more hardcore-based endeavors. Nevertheless, there is a crunch and swing to Like Rats’ sound that keeps things from ever getting too stale. Whether it’s the pummeling kick drum of the title-track or the crunchy two-step section at the end of “Ashen Rain”, Death Monolith is sure to have even the most arduous cadaver in full swing.
As solid as its foundation is, Death Monolith‘s best moments come from when they break the mold ever so slightly. The doom metal drop at the end of the title track and the thrash riff break that kicks in after the first minute (and again towards the end) of “Crimson Cosmos” are among its most outstanding and exhilarating moments, although its the intermittent “Omega Equation”, which combines the two approaches with a mid-period Cannibal Corpse-style stomp, that might just be its most memorable offering. Whatever your poison, Death Monolith is easily most brutal album with a hot pink cover you’ll hear all year, and you’d better hope the wind doesn’t change while you’re throwing down to it with the amount of “stink face” you’ll be pulling.