Review: Monolord – Rust 10

  • Monolord
  • Rust
  • Stoner Doom
  • Sweden
  • 2017
  • 10/10

Bandcamp

Thanks to again Jessica Seeders, for another spot on stoner doom recommendation, you’ve given me so much to write about. As always check out her interesting insta: @jessica_seeds. So this is my entry point into Monolord.

This is a record that hit me so hard right off the bat in a way I have rarely experienced. Typically I’m listening in anticipation of an intro or a build up or even listening with a level of incredulity.  Monolord broke right through that bullshit with Rust. It’s so immediately present with such thick riffs. They aren’t aggressive riffs as much as they are a menacing in their pure size. The widest tones around.

Initially they basically take Black Sabbath and shift around to make it more something to move to. They have a really good sense of when to cut the droning to present these little jam moments that force you to nod along as the riffs and drums descend into lower harsher tones. Then they do a great job of coming back up into the soaring drone for the vocals to enter. They obviously heavily considered the impact and effectiveness of their composition and how to maximize it. Then as the album progresses it becomes increasing spacey with added elements like violin, the lyrics get increasingly darker and so does the tone. Even when it did slow right down I was still enthralled, they have great mixing and mastering. It’s a wonderful experience that doesn’t have any moments where I feel like time is being wasted or misused.

The vocals are solid clean vocals with the occasional death like grunts thrown on the end of some riffs as an accent. Something I always enjoy vocally. Like I said in my review about Dead Acid People, the vocals are clean but not boring. I can’t think of any way he could have done it better. The sound is realized. Also, another thing I talk a lot about with music is the idea of restraint. There wasn’t a solo until like 30 minutes in and it was an amazing pay off, it was something I didn’t know I was waiting for. There’s a lot of small choices here that make big a difference.

Lets take a look at the themes here. Firstly the album is called Rust and the album cover features rusty cars. At first I thought this was a digital work, but when I asked Esben (drummer, mixer, masterer) via their FB page about a designer credit, he revealed that it is in fact a photo taken by Arash Naghizadeh (intsagram). I was also linked to a post  showing some back story: “Iraq army after capture of khoramshahr tried to prevent Iraninan parachutists and commando to enter to the city by verticalizing 27 to 50 Fiyat and Toyota cars.”. This cover speaks to the idea of both the literal rusty imagery but also the rust of civilization where we have these wars and conflict, endlessly.

Lyrically I found there’s two senses of rust occurring here, keep in mind these are my interpretations and probably wrong. First, the external rust:

The golden age of melancholy has arrived.
My mind is pure and in a misanthropic high.
Cataclysmic visions in a state of non-return.
We have not made progression. It is time, time to learn.

Dear Lucifer

This is just one example, but there’s an outward perception of a global, social rust. The decay of goodwill and the expectation of good things from the world. A communal stagnation and the death of trust.

Inside the pale white room.
Awaiting, pending doom.
Trapped inside the cage.
Plague of a modern age.

Forgotten Lands

Then there’s the internal rust. The toll of modern living combined with the human nature of existential thinking about death. I get it. I really get that, a sense of personal stagnation brought on by the simple fact of being alive now, in this time of hostility and uniformity. Where we are all kind of piled away in these ever building houses that all look the same. We’re building, we’re developing but we’re not progressing. So after we build we just sit here, on the net trying to synchronize our minds with others while the body wastes away. Disconnected from the global suffering, apathetic.

Anyway, that’s my take and if I’m wrong feel free to hit me up with the actual meaning. I’m sure there’s a more literal thing being referenced, especially with the back story on the photo. Again, an album that gave me a lot to research and think about, something to delve into for a solid hour of perfect stoner doom. If you suss their bandcamp page, there’s a lot of credits to additional musicians who contributed to the record. The variation of talent really shows on this record and every contribution, no matter how small (cowbells fuck yes, remember Fugazi?), just sounds like a treat. Like I said, there’s all these little moments to cherish beyond the fuzz.

I’m not afraid to give 10’s, this is the shit.

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