Monolord, the doom sludge stoner giants from Sweden. Gothenburg to be exact, but this isn't melodic death metal, in fact, it's the exact opposite. Since 2013 they have been producing the thickest overdriven distorted doomy sludge stoner metal since Electric Wizard. Empress Rising is filled with massively overdriven and distorted riffs and hooks. Despite its brooding and crawling tempo, the songs on here are surprisingly catchy. It had me nodding my head all the way through. The vocalist and guitarist, Thomas Jaeger, sounds like he is on the bottom of a well, with the rest of the band, including his guitar, above ground. He constantly pummels the ears with these mezmerizing stoned riffs from the riff-filled land. This gives the whole atmosphere a dark and misty feeling. The drumming, executed by Esben Willems, is simple but accurate and supports the droning riffs very well. Mika Haekki, the bassist, doesn't really stand out, but supports the droning catchy riffs of Thomas excellently. The dark, brooding sound is in part due to the overdriven distorted bass sound Mika produces. This album will have you nod your head and make you feel stoned without even having smoked anything. Highly recommended for any doom/stoner/sludge fan!