Monday 5 December 2022

Onhou - Monument (Album Review)

Release Date: 09th December 2022. Record Label: Lay Bare Recordings / Tartarus Records. Formats: Cassette/DD/Vinyl

Monument: Tracklisting

When On High





Onhou comeback heavier and more aggressive on their second full length album Monument which sees the band team up with Tarturus Records and Lay Bare Recordings like their acclaimed 2019 debut release. Monument sees Onhou play a thicker style of Distorted Drone, Doom and Sludge Metal but with a Psychedelic element appearing as well.

The album contains four tracks and Onhou have a bleak Post-Metal drive to their music that sees the band bring Post-Rock and Ambient based gloomy landscapes to the album which you can feel on the superbly intense opening song When On High. Harsh vocals provide the emotional gateway into this album with the heavy progressive extended grooves flirting between Psychedelic Doom Sounds and the more violent down-tuned Sludge/Post-Metal imagery that allows Onhou to play a faster style of music. The track is quite different and will appeal to fans of Cult Of Luna and ISIS (The Band). 

Second song Null is another lengthy progressive composition running near the eleven minute mark. Starting off slowly before building to a faster style of music with Onhou bringing a darker style of Distorted Droned Out Sludge Metal with echoes of Doom Metal, Prog Metal and Post-Metal. There's some wonderful sounding synths through various stages of the song. The vocals move from harsh growls to a more extreme style that matches the music superbly well. The instrumental work is key here with Onhou slowing things right down before playing a heavier style of Ambient based Post Rock/Post-Metal for one of the album's standout tracks.

The final two tracks of Below and Ruins both run past the eleven minute mark with a more experimental focus coming into play. As Onhou adds different styles of Ambient Noises and Trippy Sound Effects on stunning third track Below. These two songs do take time to fully get going but the overall journey is exciting and vastly cinematic when the band play a thunderous style of Doom/Sludge Metal. The vocals may not to everyone's tastes but Onhou doesn't shy away in bringing a more "EXTREME" vocal delivery to the album.

One of the album's main strengths is the different use and styles of Ambient Metal and Psych Metal that can be quite Abstract and Solitary in places. Another thing that impressed and surprised me is how "riff-centric" the album actually is. Onhou may focus on playing long drawn out extended grooves but there's violent riffs galore on Monument which adds an extra layer of creative class to the album.

Boosted by excellent production values, Monument is another thrilling and epic release from Onhou who are showcasing some of the finest Sludge/Doom Metal sounds from the Dutch Underground Metal Scene. 

This is a first rate and must have release if you're into the more extreme sounds of the Doom/Sludge Metal Scene.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Viral Propaganda PR an Tartarus Records for the promo. 

Monument is available to buy on Cassette/DD/Vinyl via Lay Bare Recordings and Tartarus Records from December 09th 2022.


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