Saturday 23 March 2024

Esben Willems - Glowing Darkness (Album Review)

Release Date: March 29th 2024. Record Label: Majestic Mountain Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Glowing Darkness - Tracklisting

1.Cabaret Street 04:59 video

2.Dear Demon

3.Carte Blanche

4.Embrace The Fall

5.Slow Rain

6.Glowing Darkness

7.Space Bob

8.Fortune Teller

9.Across The Everything 05:01 video



Esben Willems - Everything


Glowing Darkness is the debut full length album from MONOLORD drummer Esben Willems and if you’re expecting a Doom Metal odyssey that great band is known for then you’ll sorely be disappointed. Glowing Darkness is more of a stirring mix of Punk Rock, Post-Punk, Alt-Rock, Noise Rock and with a hint of a slice of rebellious sounding Stoner Rock. The sound is quite abstract with a surreal flow to the album which I wouldn’t have expected from Esben’s first solo album but here we are but it’s a glorious sounding record with a stunning CALL TO ARMS message within the majority of the tracks.

The opening songs of Glowing Darkness are full of Punk Rock and Post-Punk grooves with a rough and ready approach which gives the album a more OUTSIDER element which goes hand-in-hand with the Doom/Stoner Metal scene that MONOLORD are known for. Songs such as Cabaret Street, Dear Demon and Carte Blanche have some personal lyrics from Esben with his vocals having a storyteller element to them and you can hear that Esben has lived the life that he’s singing about. 

The music is quite offbeat and jangly with many moments of upbeat Psychedelic sounds that can be quite fast-paced when the heavier parts appear. The record won’t be for everyone but at least Esben is staying true to his creative beliefs and delivering the record that folks need and not the one they ultimately demand.

You can hear Esben delving further into the Post-Punk and Punk Rock scene for the remainder of the album with perhaps the European Post-Punk and American Punk Rock scene being used hand in hand on tracks such as Embrace The Fall, Slow Rain, Glowing Darkness, Fortune Teller and Across The Everything.

As I said earlier in the review, Glowing Darkness is quite absurd but that’s one of the albums mean strengths with Esben still composing some toe-tapping and Hard Rocking anthems which can be quite melodic at the same time. The instrumental work is superb with Esben playing on every instrument heard on the album. Esben has handled all the recording and production duties at his famed Studio Berserk so you know it sounds excellent despite the rough and ready approach of how Esben delivers his music.

Glowing Darkness is an excellent debut release from Esben Willems and it’s best to take an “Expect The Unexpected” kind of expectation when listening to the album. As you’ll have more fun with the record and maybe even become addicted to the dark themes of the album whilst the uplifting grooves will leave you wanting to hear more.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Sheltered Life PR for the promo.

Glowing Darkness will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Majestic Mountain Records from March 29th 2024.


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