Friday 1 September 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Monolord - "Rust"

By: Ernesto Aguilar

Album Type: Full-length
Date Released: 27/09/2017
Label: Riding Easy Records

Monolord hits all the superlative notes when it comes to doom and the album's closing tracks, "Forgotten Lands" and "At Niceae," are as close to perfect as you can get.

"Rust" CD//DD//LP track listing

1. Where Death Meets The Sea
2. Dear Lucifer
3. Rust
4. Wormland
5. Forgotten Lands
6. At Niceae

The Review:

Doom and sludge metal both have a handful of performers who can create a truly melodic listening experience. Not a melodic, pop-music-style sort of atmosphere ala Ghost, but rather sounds that are faithful to the subgenres while injecting the kind of talent that reminds you there is so much more to doom mastery than dropping the sixth string down to decent B flat.

Hailing from Gothenburg, Swedish doom metal group Monolord formed in 2013, and its members have set a frankly frenetic schedule, dropping three full lengths and an EP, including the 2014 debut, "Empress Rising." That amount of output is quite unusual, let alone delivering content that has been as well received as Monolord has since it began. The big question is, can the team's newest, "Rust," develop the music while giving its base what it loves?

Monolord hits all the superlative notes when it comes to doom, though the group knows how to plant a strong post as far as different music too. On the opener "Where Death Meets The Sea" the trio strikes a brisker pace than one might expect from a sludgy bassline. Regardless, the track is incredibly satisfying – it's tight, the vocals are exceptional, with a touch of wash-out though audible and story-based, and the mood is thick with dread. The track progression is also superior, as it is followed by "Dear Lucifer," which flows well out of the opener's assiduous pace, matching it until it evolves into an ultra heavy entry befitting the vocal. On the strength of this pairing, Monolord will get a dozen positive comparisons. Likely the best you can say is that more acts are going to be compared to this band before too long.

Monolord's chemistry is palatable. Singer Thomas Jäger deserves a lot of praise for his work. Drummer Esben Willems and Mika Häkki on bass ratchet up the tension throughout "Rust" as well. There are also some creative additions – the strings in "Wormland" or the title track's organ and effects – that are brilliant touches.

In addition, what makes the new release so satisfying is how well Monolord grasp sterling arrangement. That sounds rather technical, but frankly you know an atrocious song by how weakly it is structured. This album's closing tracks, "Forgotten Lands" and "At Niceae," is as close to perfect as you can get. At 15 minutes plus, it is a cut with quite a build. However, the instrumentation by Monolord, the song's pacing and lyrics are presented in a way that keeps you listening, over and over.

"Rust" available to preorder/buy here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook