Monsters II might be the most aptly named project of the year. Swollen Members devote their time, energy and lyrics to paint a dark but manic picture. Mad Child and Prevail don’t hide from their history of drug abuse, affiliations, or career up and downs and tackle it head on. The title is just what it implies, an album that bares the darkest parts of their soul.
The duo’s always masterfully structured back and forth blends beautifully with dark production. Mad Child and Prevail not only deliver a conceptually executed album, but showcase their underrated lyrical abilities. “Dream Chaser” is crafted expertly with a killer hook. “Chase the dream, create the scene/ Face the flames/ Erase the pain.” The chanted hook is memorable and gives a dark album a beam of hope. Swollen Members balance the line between creating an album that is strictly horrorcore and one that delves into human emotion. “The Mind Suffers/ The thoughts are all scattered/ With delicate matters and elegant patterns/ Betrayal of myself, I’m beyond redemption…” Mad Child not only delivers a memorable four lines but ones that pack an enormous amount of content on “Broken Mirror.”
Not until track seven, “Agent Orange” does the group even remotely stumble. It’s a testament to the strength of the album and details just how close the group came to making a genre defining album. The stand out track “Trust” features another sick hook and is as complicated, yet harmonic as the word itself. Dope collaborations, specifically an amazing West Coast collaboration with Souls of Mischief and Strong Arm Steady on “Execution” is as sharp and tough as all parties involved have sounded in years. “Honor Combat” is ring entrance music that will most certainly be adapted by every MMA hopeful’s training regiment. The differing album content switches up just enough to create a varying narrative of “Monsters.”
Swollen Members absolutely create a dope follow up to their first quarter success of Dagger Mouth. Both Prevail and Mad Child use the sonic canvas to paint the dark picture they’ve lived. Fueled by dope hooks, well thought out guest appearances, and a few released tracks, Monsters II continues the recent success of Swollen Members.