Monolord
Rust


3.8
excellent

Review

by insomniac15 STAFF
October 2nd, 2017 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fuzz worship galore...

Monolord are one of my favorite stoner/doom metal bands at the moment. They are bloody heavy, groovy and develop such hazy monster tracks you can’t help but replay the hell out of each album. Luckily, the Swedish trio rapidly gained momentum in the underground through Empress Rising and subsequently, Vænir, plus touring several times throughout Europe, the US and Australia. As a result, the latest effort, Rust was expected by quite a large number of fans. The group realized the potential of this LP as well and decided to polish things a bit. Rest assured, the fuzz is there in all its beauty. There was no compromise on that part aside from being a tad cleaner mastered. It’s mainly the vocals who were pushed into the front and largely stripped of effects.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, that is the main thing dragging Rust down. Thomas Jäger is not the greatest vocalist out there and the drugged-out vibe (given by tons of delay and reverb) previous albums boast is a bit lost. ‘Dear Lucifer’ suffers most, due to the exhausted, monotonous flow, especially during the verses. The slow burning riffs and steady beats advance nicely and I wish Monolord kept the effects on the front man’s lines to make it even better. To a certain extent, the title track and ‘Where Death Meets the Sea’ share the same issue, however, they decided to layer them on choruses and keep the strong grooves as the main focus. The former is embellished by organ leads and a really cool solo during the coda, whereas the latter effectively switches gears from the urgent main hook to laid-back ones. Unlike other bands in the genre, these guys have a knack for melody which lies in between brutal, distorted riffage. It might as well be the musical equivalent to finding occasional oases in a torrid desert.

On the second half, things decelerate with the two epics, ‘Forgotten Lands’ & ‘At Niceae’, who take their time to unfold. Whether short or long, Monolord have managed to compress or expand their tunes without feeling incomplete or diluted. ‘Forgotten Lands’ displays some dirty riffs at a sluggish pace, while the vocals regain some of that sweet reverb and delay back. Guitar leads accompany the chunky bass in between verses and midway, they break into a hypnotic, subdued progression. Thomas’ guitar plays some effects-drenched solos in the background, occasionally bursting full power, whereas the rhythm section keeps going while locked into a circular pattern. It’s nice how they subtly diversify things, creating richer dynamics. Meanwhile, the 15-minute closer, ‘At Niceae’ starts slow as clean chords play a rather dreamy sequence. Increasing in intensity, Mika Häkki joins with pulsing low end notes, until 2 minutes in when hell breaks loose. The song features some of the most uncompromising riffage on Rust and it was well worth the smooth transition from the easier digestible cuts. We’re taken through a long trip full of scorching grooves and melodic vocals, summing all the strengths into one cohesive odyssey. Unexpectedly, they decide to end with an acoustic reprise that offers a placid conclusion to such a powerful record.

Overall, Rust continues Monolord’s quest to hone their chemistry, delivering a healthy dose of stoner/doom metal few bands manage to interestingly do so these days. Despite minor issues with the vocals being deprived of most effects, the LP is just as strong musically as its predecessors. As a fanboy, I want them to stay the same more or less, because the group has a great thing going with the current formula. Of course, if this is a starting point for future experimentation, I (objectively) encourage it as well. Hopefully, they’ll insist more on the music and keep the vocals akin to the first two records, as it sounds more interesting and rewarding.




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user ratings (34)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
PsychicChris (4.5)
Rust shows significant progress even though the aesthetics aren’t that different from the Swedish ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2017


4385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I really like the record, but they should've left all that reverb and delay on the vocals.



Official album stream - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_xyHZk3lo0

skinnyplop
October 2nd 2017


2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pssst, vocal effects are where it's at.



Nice use of strings, organ and clean guitar.

AdolfChrist
October 2nd 2017


12978 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thought Vaenir had a killer guitar tone but that was really the only thing that was impressive about it.

Digging: Palehorse/Palerider - Burial Songs

Dewinged
October 3rd 2017


6408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Somehow I knew you were gonna review this (:



First time checking these guys out, let's see what they got. I already feel I am gonna miss those vocal effects you mention.

Digging: Motorpsycho - The Tower

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2017


4385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

@Adolf - We Will Burn is fucking awesome on Vaenir and most of the songs have some cool grooves at some point.

They are better than Electric Wizard these days.



@Dewinged - I've been waiting for this to drop all year lol. The vocals are a bit disappointing at times and I personally prefer the rawer production of the Vaenir and Empress Rising. Still, this one has strong hooks.

Travelhead
October 3rd 2017


60 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree with insomniac15. They are better than wizards these days and I really like the brave heavy sound of them. Also, the elements such as acoustic guitars and violin is suprisingly amazing with stoner doom metal!



But I don't agree with you on effects on vocal. It is kinda their style. Space-y and otherworldy. It suits the band quite beautiful.



Nice review. I hope everyone will appreciate Monolord as one of the best stoner metal nowadays!

AdolfChrist
October 3rd 2017


12978 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Are you saying you liked the effects? Because thats what insomniac was saying...



Anyways, i might give this a go.

MrSirLordGentleman
October 3rd 2017


10948 Comments


what a cool artwork

AdolfChrist
October 3rd 2017


12978 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

im not a fan. looks like an eyesore to me, and not in a good metal kind of way.

AdolfChrist
October 3rd 2017


12978 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is actually sounding a little more interesting than their previous two. hopefully they experiment more with the keyboards and added strings on the next album.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2017


4385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Yeah, it's a grower. As a fan of their current sound I wish they stayed the same, but I realize they will have to expand not to become boring.

Dinosaur
October 3rd 2017


1107 Comments


Artwork sucks, but the album is their best effort to date.

Digging: Taurus (USA-OR) - No/Thing

Pho3nix
October 3rd 2017


359 Comments


Artwork is one of the best I've seen in a while!

Dewinged
October 5th 2017


6408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ummm a bit disappointed on this, felt very forced in some parts and very harmless.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 5th 2017


4385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Listen to the first two records then, they are punchier :D

Valixous
October 6th 2017


65 Comments


Great review

Dewinged
October 6th 2017


6408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I will Raul. They remind me a little to that album released by Dopelord at the beginning of this year, "Chuldren of Haze". Did you jam that one?

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 6th 2017


4385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Yeah, I'm gonna see them in February here in my town (yaaay!). It's a good record.

Egarran
October 6th 2017


4136 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This was underwhelming. The riffs in Where Death Meets The Sea are mediocre and I agree about the vocals.



Digging: Mesarthim - .- -?.?.?. .?.?. . -. -?.?-?. .



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