Review Summary: Heavy Riffs. Heavy Contrast. Meditative Doom.
Monolord’s sophomore album wastes no time before forcing the air out of the room with crushing down-tuned ear candy. With lengthy monolithic tracks, this heavy weight album is a beautiful synthesis of the beloved elements of Doom Metal. What this album lacks in originality, it makes up for in execution as a strong rendition of Doom Metal’s natural progression. Prepare for a slow burn.
A patient and brutal meditation, the album slogs forth as one would wade through thick molasses, slowly and deliberately. The slow and steady drip achieves its balance by carefully layering echoing warped vocals over a wall of deeply distorted guitar and bass as opposed to overpowering the listener with guttural cries. Repetitive riffs drag the listener deep into a well of meditation. Each riff boasts a well-established mantra and calls listeners to join the chant with lackadaisical head-banging. With the pace of a ticking clock, Monolord counts down the seconds to the end, as humanity trudges on towards total self-destruction.
Where claustrophobia and chaos could easily prevail through excess noise, Monolord creates space and comfort with balanced pressure. When the pressure is not being constantly applied heavily on all sides by a casket of fuzz, it is applied gently by the anticipation created by the albums drawn out quiet moments. The quiet interludes allow for an opportunity to rest in the midst of steady brutality but are drawn out to make the listener crave the next great breath of distortion. There is a delicate balance to this giant sound.
The lyrics of the album are rightfully dark, reflective of a journey to post-apocalyptic mayhem brought on by one’s disdain towards humanity’s lack of respect for mother earth. ‘We Will Burn’ and ‘Nuclear Death’ both speak heavily on mankind’s downfall but as an inevitability rather than an unexpected ending. “Yeah, we blew it all… Yeah, we blew it all.” Thoughts of urban decay and parasitic existence are present throughout. ‘The Cosmic Silence’ is a lovely two minute interlude; lyrically romantic, heartbreaking and a fine portrayal of the quiet that follows destruction. Portraying violence, admittance of failed responsibilities and regret in the wake of total obliteration, Monolord implores us to respect the world around us and to question how our actions are contributing to the conditions of our natural earth. Are you helping or hurting… is there neutral ground between these options?
Crawl through the mud onto Monolord’s grand plateau of expertly controlled noise. Meditate in the depth of sound.