Review Summary: Gentle heaviness.
After signing to Relapse Records, Swede trio’s made the first bigger steps towards a more “experimental” direction in their style in No Comfort
. Under that I mean, they turned a bit away from the heavily fuzz-soaked monumental riffages (well known from Sleep and Electric Wizard too), and started to craft a more unique sound for themselves. And I believe, in Your Time To Shine
they reached their full potential, delivering a heavy yet far more emotional album without completely abandoning anything they stood for in the past.
A clear evolution can be observed in Monolord’s discography. They began their career as a far darker and aggressive doom band (in the vein of Electric Wizard, Conan and so on), and in time they turned towards a more melody and mood centric stoner or momentarily psychedelic soundscape (sometimes stepping into Red Fang’s or Elder’s territory here) while still carrying the key elements of their earlier sound. Now, witnessing their current creation, it is safe to state that Your Time To Shine
is Monolord’s most progressive, and arguably most interesting album so far.
Your Time To Shine
is a two-faced album. One focuses on a crushing, monstrously heavy riff crash (which with a more gain and brutal distortion could easily show well on a death-doom record) - like what you can hear in “The Weary” and in “I’ll Be Damned”. The album’s other face feels closer to rock than metal with its highly atmospheric, and spaced out melodies. Through them, Your Time To Shine
gently shepherds the listener’s mood towards sweet melancholia - observable in the remaining songs: “To Each Their Own”, the album’s title track and “The Siren Of Yersinia”. Personally I think these more melancholic and psychedelic songs are the album’s absolute pinnacles, and contain the album’s most interesting moments. These slower and the somewhat softer tracks all contain really earworming melodies, surprising amounts of clean guitars and playful experiments with effects, and Thomas Jäger’s best vocal performances (for example, the classic Ozzy-style vocal effects did a marvelous job). Moreover, in each song they managed to present different moods as well, like “To Each Their Own” ends with a really uplifting solo, while the title track’s “Planet Caravan”-esque finish grants a beautifully captivating and calm feeling. However the overall effect wouldn’t be the same without the heavier and groovier songs. “The Weary” and “I’ll Be Damned” are perfectly placed within the album (an opener and one in the middle), as they bring more dynamism, energy and a certain depth into the whole creation. Generally, the whole album feels like a really mature work and is really balanced, not to mention the pleasant production.
Through Your Time To Shine
Gothenburg’s trio could clearly show that they evolved, and fearlessly turned Monolord’s style into a somewhat new direction. The result is a really characteristic work, which remains very heavy but it’s full of soul and sentience, making it one of the most memorable stoner/doom albums of the year.