Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Monolord : " Rust"

The new one from the Swedish trio, is a more melodic endeavor. While they have always used melodic vocals over thick walls of fuzzy riffs, they are now giving the vocals more room to breathe. This doesn't mean it's any less heavy. The guitars are still packed with all the density you would want from these guys. Obviously as with most doom band's Sabbath is a huge influence, but I can also here some hints of the more burly psychedelic garage bands that we now think of as proto-metal like Atomic Rooster or Blue Cheer. The lyrics for better or for worse are more discernible. On "Dear Lucifer" the vocalist wails to say he doesn't believe any more and is sad to he has to go. So this is a break up song to Lucifer. I don't remember their lyrics on the previous releases being all that satanic so it's not a shocker. The song does have a hint of sorrow to it ,so it must not be Lucifer it must be them.

Organ opens up the title track to really give it that 60's psychedelic feeling I was talking about earlier. They must have some better weed coming through Sweden these days. The powerful chug to the riff going into the verses has more of a classic metal feeling. One thing I love about this album is the fact these guys prove you can make powerful doom without having every song drag on over the ten minute mark.Eventually they do cross that line, but it's later in the album and not the opener.  I did have to listen to "Wormland" twice to check back in with the realization that it was an instrumental. So as far as instrumentals go the guitar kept the melody enough to distract me from this fact as I normally don't like instrumentals. Eventually there is a violin where the vocals would sit. So add violins to the list of new sounds on this album.

The big over 12 minute epic is "Forgotten Lands". The vocals come in after about two minutes of lumbering.While it is certainly a respectable show of power, they are trudging the road more traveled when it comes to doom with this song.Midway into it and I am waiting for some dynamic shift to justify them dragging this out. I am obviously impatient as the shift does come a minute later.Its a weird solo break, where the guitar tone sounds like it is being put through the same warbling filter the vocals have had on them for the duration of the album. The bass backs off on some of the fuzz to give the song more breathing room. Heads will bang with the punches that threaten to lead into the meat of the song again. Spoiler alert. Then they go for the fifteen minute mark on "At Niceae". Despite the change of guitar tones at the beginning the vocals don't coast in until four minutes into the song. Granted these guys are playing at the speed you expect of doom, so this does contribute to them clocking in on the far side of the 9 minute mark. Considering that they wind up in a more Pink Floyd like place when it comes to the strum of the acoustic guitar, it is kind of anti-climatic considering the song was 15 minutes long. They did try out a few new guitar tones along the way. I will however go ahead and round this one up to a 9 as it's pretty solid, aside from the last couple songs that are a little long winded. I think this one will grow on me , but if you are already a fan it is sure to stick and stay.

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