Gothenburg, Sweden trio Monolord is a rare breed: A band both encompassing and transcending genre; a vortex of heavy rock density that consumes all others. Their thunderous, tuneful heft has built a rabid international fanbase in short order since their 2014 debut. But Rust, the band’s third full length, truly exemplifies why some refer to them as the Nirvana of doom. Monolord’s enveloping, syrupy sludge is a vibe, it’s a state of mind. Not riffs for riffs sake, but a collective buzzing, rattling and rumbling that’s more total environment than collection of songs. Together, guitarist/vocalist Thomas Jager, drummer Esben Willems and bassist Mika Häkki create a massive, dynamic sound with ultra-low frequencies serving as its fourth member. Album opener Where Death Meets the Sea perfectly exemplifies their mastery of dynamics and hooks with a driving, infectious buzzsaw riff that lesser bands would ride off into the sunset, but Monolord uses subtly to spur the song’s skull rattling rhythmic core ever onward. Jager’s watery vocals glide over ominously building verses that erupt with the song’s insistent refrain. Being such a tight rhythmic unit, it sounds almost like an early ZZ Top record played at half speed. Dear Lucifer squeals and hums with slow deliberation as Willems summons Dale Crover pummel with chasm like low-tuned toms and syncopated cymbal crashes. The album’s title track is also its centerpiece, opening with a dramatic, shimmering Hammond organ intro as Jager sings, “you are the reason that I lied / You are the reason that I cried / Please don’t wait until tomorrow / There’s only pain and grief and sorrow.” Suddenly, the band kicks in with a downtuned open-C line that nosedives down the guitar neck as the drums hammer down for the kill. Elsewhere, tastefully understated guitar harmonies elevate the behemoth churn of Wormland and apocalyptic album closer At Niceae simmers in a slow build of rumbling guitars and rolling drum triplets.
2LP - Double Black Vinyl.
2LP+ - Double Neon Green Vinyl. 300 Copies.