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Monolord: Vænir

This album is so good that if it isn't already one of the most anticipated releases of the year, it ought to be. The music is just so heavy, groovy, and massive, that I can't imagine any fan of doom metal not loving it. I've listened to this album about five times over the least several days and I can't get enough of its crushing riffs, especially on the tracks "We Will Burn" or "Nuclear Death." These are tracks that highlight the power of the guitar beautifully. The tone is warm, fuzzy, and crisp, a crushing buzz saw of sound that will get even the most hardened doom fan bobbing his or her head. The bass, played at just a slightly lower volume, not only keeps things rooted, but sometimes even moving things forward, weaving in melodic lines when you least expect them. Similarly, the vocals—quiet, mesmerizing, and psychedelic, complement the overall tone and power of the guitar with their own strange and hypnotic tones. I'm listening to "Died a Million Times" as I write this and I just want to stop everything, close my eyes, and take in the power of the sound. These guys are truly awesome.

For those who don't know Monolord, the band was put together originally as a side project by veteran musicians Thomas Jager (vocals and guitar), Esben Willems (drums), and Mika Hakki (bass). Monolord's first album, Empress Rising, released in 2014, was so good that it was widely praised as an essential doom metal release. With this album, the band has easily lived up to the promise of its debut. This album delivers doom so massive and so heavy that it could easily take on the status of a classic right away. The best way to discover this new album is to listen to it at the highest possible volume.

I've already mentioned the power of "We Will Burn" and "Nuclear Death," easily two of the best doom tracks I've heard this year. I never doubted that doom metal had plenty of life left, but these tracks manage a power and an excitement that make the style sound as good as it ever did. The opening track, "Cursing the One," is a solid opening track that introduces new listeners to what this band does best. I was slightly less impressed with "The Cosmic Silence," mostly because it was so much mellower than the other tracks; it also felt slightly less developed. The closing track, "Vænir," works well, but is somewhat too long, even too repetitive in the middle section.

Aside from these few quibbles, I find this album to be nothing less than one of the best doom releases of the year. Fans of doom metal, rejoice! Please check out the cover art as well—very impressive indeed.

Track Listing:
1. Cursing the One
2. We Will Burn
3. Nuclear Death
4. Died a Million Times
5. The Cosmic Silence
6. Vænir

Added: April 20th 2015
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2314
Language: english

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