Spine-Bending Heavyness: MONOLORD’s “Vænir”
There are a few bands out there who have taken the term “HEAVY” and just run with it, taking this concept to its utmost extreme consequences. Some bands decide to be overwhelmingly technical, others overwhelmingly fast, others overwhelmingly theatrical, minimalist, or eccentric, or even slow; and well, MONOLORD from Sweden, who by now are no newbies at this point, have opted to go for a heaviness that at times seems almost ridiculous it is taken to such an extreme. As their name suggests, MONOLORD have only one god: the almighty, unquestionable, omnipotent RIFF. Taking cues from bands like Sleep, Electric Wizard, Yob, Cathedral and the such (or, the more “stoner” side of things) MONOLORD have erected a wall of riffs and feedback so thick and tall that when they launch into some of their mammoth grooves your entire existence becomes encased in a massive and inescapable concrete sarcophagus, as the air fills with static and reverb that has the density of cement and enormous tsunamis of sound smack you around like a helpless rag-doll.
As previously mentioned, MONOLORD‘s toxic and sloth-like doom falls more on the stoner side of the spectrum, meaning they have huge psychedelic and Seventies influences slithering throughout their sound, thrust forward by massive waves of fuzz, feedback and static. The slow-cooking, swampy tar of tracks like “We Will Burn,” or “Died A Million Times” with it’s hollowed out and chanting vocals layered over a riverbed of fuzzed-out space rock guitars, is a clear example of this trait, and in these instances the band almost sounds like a clearer and less intoxicated version of Electric Wizard, or on the flip-side as an ultra-heavy and evil version of Hawkwind. While MONOLORD’s music is ceremonial and almost liturgical in its careful and masterful unraveling of colossal and timeless doom-riffs, there is also that inevitable and almost inseparable evil element in their music. The disembodied and mantra-like nasal vocal delivery has that unmistakeable mass-like or occult-like vibe to it, and as the riffs pound from underneath enveloping you in their toxic haze you start to have visions of sects, occult ceremonies and all kinds of weird and hallucinating rituals happening. In this sense, MONOLORD’s music truly is a cathedral of sound. A place where giant walls of sound and towers of feedback contain a conceptual ritual, a vision of liturgic power that can not be separated from the music containing it.
MONOLORD are the authors of some pretty amazing, timeless, colossal and highly evocative stoner metal/doom, which is packed to the roof with riffs and atmospheres that are for the most part unchallenged in quality and craft, and Vænir is nothing but another unquestionable statement in the still young but already absolutely venerable legacy of these Swedish riff-lords. Vænir drops April 28th 2015 on EasyRider Records. Time to let the mind sink in MONLORD’s mammoth riff-hole!