Monday 21 August 2017

MONOLORD - Rust (Album Review)

Release date: September 29th 2017. Label: RidingEasy Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Rust – Tracklisting

1.Where Death Meets The Sea
2.Dear Lucifer
3.Rust 05:39
5.Forgotten Lands
6.At Niceae

Band Members

Thomas V Jäger - Guitars & vocals
Esben Willems - Drums
Mika Häkki - Bass


Writing a review it’s always a difficult task. In most cases it is because the album you are listening to does not take you too much though, perhaps, played majestically. Sometimes, however, you may be in trouble because what you are reviewing is one of the best album played by one of your favorite bands.

Today I’ll talk about the last venture of the trio composed by Mika Häkki, Esben Willems and Thomas Jäger, the bass, drum and guitars/vocals of one of the heaviest doom bands of the world, Monolord, from Gothenburg, Sweden. In the last few years, the band have released some of the best sludge/doom albums, while still maintaining a melodic vein that clearly defines their style. With Vaenir (Riding Easy Records) Monolord showed the world a new perspective of the genre, cleverly mixing a bunch of influences behind the definition of doom.

Me and my bandmate in Dustrider, Francesco, were lucky enough to see them in Berlin at the Desertfest, and we were totally fascinated by their show, which was by no means the best show of that edition. A wall of brutal sound with no compromise. I think also the horse-head-guy in the photo enjoyed as well.

Now, Monolord come back with a new stunning album, Rust (Riding Easy Records) that certainly did not disappoint the expectation of old fans. Starting from the cover art, which is simply amazing and with a strong visual impact, the album travels through a path that cleverly mixes doom with sludge and stoner, using even harmonic solutions hardly audible in other, similar, releases. The single track Rust, although a pure sludge song, is a breath of fresh air with its barren atmosphere and droning sounds, thanks also to the presence of special guests as John Gamino from Mondo Drag on keyboards and Trevor Church of Beastmaster.

What seems to be much from this album is the ongoing search for a trial that has led to more articulate constructions and to a composite verve of high bill. This approach seems evident in songs like Forgotten Lands, where the brutal assault of the initial riffage, masterfully supported by the monolithic rhythm section, is interrupted by a psychedelic mantra driven by the voice of Thomas.

At Niceae is, by no means, my favorite song of the album. I love the way with which Monolord manage to give the listener different perspectives, especially in the final part of the song, where droning meets Pink Floyd. Throughout the album I have the feel of a band which has grown in the shortest time and, most likely, has a world of fun in their work.

What else? My personal opinion is that Rust can be considered the best album of Monolord, until the next one. I love when a band manages to be faithful to their own sound and attitude while being able to reinvent each and every album more and more.

See you in Italy, guys!

Words by Bruno Bellisario
Thanks to Dave at US/THEM PR Group for the promo. Rust will be avaiable to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via RidingEasy Records from September 29th 2017.