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Monolord - No Comfort

No Comfort
by Chris Hawkins at 21 October 2019, 7:51 PM

Though MONOLORD only began back in 2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden, the band have a sound that is timeless.  They manage to create an aura that is certainly reverent in its nods to the master, BLACK SABBATH, but also is unafraid to take risks.  Every idea presented is one to be fully explored in detail by the band as the music moves in its delirium.  After releasing three previous full-lengths, the band released “No Comfort” just weeks ago, their first outing for Relapse Records.

Relapse has a proven track record for finding some of the brightest stars within the Extreme Metal community, from AMORPHIS to HUMAN REMAINS.  Thus, it is usually rest assured that a new signing from them will be something worth taking note of.  MONOLORD is just that.  If unfamiliar with their discography or the scope of their sound, it is resoundingly massive, a ravenous beast forged from a broad understanding of the nuances of the intersection of Stoner and Doom Metal.  The sound really is more on the Doom side of things, though a pervasive appreciation for SABBATH is where the two intersect in this case.

The Bastard Son” begins things with a familiar vibe to those who follow the genre with a mesmerizing monolith of a main riff that is carefully executed by design and momentum.  The spacey vocals simply aid the atmosphere to create a hallucinatory environment.  “The Last Leaf” follows, a more mellow affair that truly takes off in the extended jam section of the latter half.  The music starkly catches that 1970s vibe and runs with it.  The third track, “Larvae,” is constructed with a lonely though infectious main hook.  When the vocals kick in, the band thickens things up creating a powerfully catchy riff.  The bass sounds so good on this track that one can hear the strings rub against the fret board, a subtlety that makes a performance come much more alive.  It is indeed miraculous how the band can dissect their ideas as such, venture into different directions, and then meet again resolutely to sum things up with each change occurring seamlessly and proficiently.

Tone.  That is what it is all about here.  The guitar sound is gargantuan, a sublime infusion of classic fuzz and powerful tube amps.  Seeped in the witchy brew of Iommi, one can also hear the influence of more modern acts such as YOB and ELECTRIC WIZARDMONOLORD can flex their six-string muscle with the best of them as though they share qualities with others in the genre, theirs is a sound altogether their own.  It is a well-rounded, dynamic sound that is uncanny in its percussive ability to cut through the mix.  Obviously, the rhythm section is important as they are the other two-thirds of the equation.  They are unequivocally solid with a stunning bass presence and firm command of groove.  The bass just hast that murky resonance that is ideal for the low end and the drums are tight and lively.  Assembled as such, MONOLORD proves to be quite the vigorous musical entity.

No Comfort” is a gripping album from one of the most promising bands in the genre.  Over six tracks, multiple versions of the band emerge.  Whether in strumming thunderous chords or channeling the more celestial realms, MONOLORD is a powerhouse with a thrilling new album.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Bastard Son
2. The Last Leaf
3. Larvae
4. Skywards
5. Alone Together
6. No Comfort
Mikka Häkki- Bass
Esben Willems – Drums, Percussion
Thomas Jäger – Guitars, Vocals, Percussion
Record Label: Relapse Records


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