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Monolord - Rust

by Riccardo Gaffuri at 16 August 2017, 6:31 AM

Swedish sludge/doom trio MONOLORD invites you to a trip to their spacey world with their Rust, to be released on September 29th via Riding Easy Records. It’s an equilibrium between heavy riffs and atmospheric ambitions that keeps together this LP: Jäger almost ethereal vocals, their minimalistic approach, with all the unnecessary stripped down, create their unique fingerprint that differentiates them from other bands of their genres, like YOB, that on the other hands focus their work on a more palpable song structure and rich arrangement. And yet, this game of untouchable smoke works, as their international success in the last three years can witness.

“Where Death Meets The Sea” riffs bend and repeat unto themselves, while clean reverbed vocals makes us ascend to a non-material plan of existence: their sound is “lighter” than other peers, almost more stoner rock than doom. Next “Dear Lucifer”, opening with a feedback guitars, gets back to doom with its repeating and gloom chant, all is kept slow in tempo and mood, before opening in the end, where both vocals and riff free themselves and open up towards a feedback driven ascent, which gives way to the keyboards introducing titletrack “Rust”, psychedelic and catchy. Once again the listener is being ripped in tension between convulsing riffs and ethereal will to lift off of Jäger voice. “Wormland” is the perfect instrumental interlude and metaphor of this contradiction: while first part is being locked to earth by the guitars, in the second part a violin pushes us toward the sky. However, the solution seems to be a heavily distorted guitar that starts off “Forgotten Land”: vocals here are even more distant from the ground, being muffled and from an outer dimension, now more than ever. We sense an heavy and hopeless atmosphere, but we feel a kind of serenity and lightness. Closing track “At Niceae” tricks us into believing in a distorted guitars & feedbacks end, seemingly fading out…just to reappear on an acoustic guitar, then accompanied by a guitar solo, and once again clean vocals reassure us on the possibility of an escape and transcending from the gloom and oppressive reality.

Rust is for fans a confirmation of MONOLORD uniqueness and ability to transcend a very weighty genre like stoner/sludge to psychic heights, opening windows to an outer world and making listeners vibrate with them along their journey; it’s not a single track approach, it’s almost like an hour gift of empty minds and thought, throughout they’re almost collectively jamming. Whoever is looking for such sensations and deliverance from material problems and issues, should give this LP a try, as this might also be their first step into doom, without the risk of being repelled by tracks standing just for riffs sake.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Where Death Meets The Sea
2. Dear Lucifer
3. Rust
4. Wormland
5. Forgotten Lands
6. At Niceae
Thomas V Jäger - Guitars & vocals
Esben Willems - Drums
Mika Häkki – Bass
Record Label: Ridind Easy Records


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Edited 30 September 2022

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