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Monuments' John Browne showcases his formidable fretboard skills in this brutal playthrough of Cardinal Red

Three albums down, UK four-piece Monuments have established themselves as a dominant force in the global prog-metal scene. And with their latest single, Cardinal Red, and upcoming fourth LP, In Stasis, the band looks to build further on that momentum.

The new track sees the band – composed of vocalist Andy Cizek, guitarist John Browne, bassist Adam Swan and drummer Mike Malyan – strike the common modern-day prog-metal balance of aggressive, pummeling breakdowns, juxtaposed with moments of carefully crafted melody. And it's Browne's electric guitar work that steers the track throughout.

In this new guitar playthrough – premiered exclusively at Guitar World – Browne showcases his command of the fretboard, navigating the track's relentless clutch of hammer-on-heavy riffs, armed with a Seymour Duncan P-Rails-equipped Mayones Duvell plugged into a Peavey 5150 amp head. Check it out above.

“The original brief for Cardinal Red was based around the concept of our lives being in the hands of those in charge,” Browne says. “Their decisions ultimately define whether we live or we die.

“The song has a constant 16th-note pulse with moments of dissonance to portray that we always have to live our lives on the edge of our seats – coupled with very short moments of uplifting major chords during the chorus that quickly shift back to minor, any moment of feeling comfortable or content will be quickly overshadowed.”

In Stasis as a whole touches more upon these themes, though as the band explain, they didn't approach writing it with a specific concept in mind. 

“Three songs in, what was being written ended up sharing a common theme,” they say. “This feeling of being stuck in the middle, a feeling we experience throughout our lives – within friendships and relationships, love to hate, life to death, belief or non-belief, being in power to total defeat, isolation to freedom.

“Over the past two years, we have been faced with many of these trials, and these struggles can be heard throughout the record. This record is a culmination of our greatest triumphs and our deepest struggles. We hope it resonates with you, and brings you closer to equilibrium.” 

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Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).