Monolord - No Comfort review




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Reviewer:
7.5

24 users:
7.71
Band: Monolord
Album: No Comfort
Release date: September 2019


01. The Bastard Son
02. The Last Leaf
03. Larvae
04. Skywards
05. Alone Together
06. No Comfort


No Comfort is, unsurprisingly, not all that comforting.

Not every band has a defining characteristic that sets them apart from the hordes of impersonators and competitors in the metal scene, but with Monolord you can pinpoint exactly which band you're listening to simply based on the opening riff of the album's first song. Their unique style of fuzzy dissonance and weighted melodies recreates the melancholic atmosphere of early Black Sabbath without crossing completely into the territory of unabashed worship, yet the building blocks of their signature style have all but reached a monumental conclusion based in a thick abrasive groove and chunky hypnotic rhythmic approach that pave way for a sensational experience traversing plains of genuine sensitivity and regret not too dissimilar from their parental counterparts.

While similarities can certainly be drawn between them and their obvious influences of yore, No Comfort is still its own undertaking and brings with it a certain je ne sais quoi -- if only for its overall burdensome mood, augmented by Thomas Jäger's painfully rueful clean vocals casting shades of self-loathing over everything. Though markedly improved in skill, his style can seem almost baleful due to his repetitive harrowing delivery, even though it's well-suited to the band's more somber sound. Initially the vibe is somewhat warm and relaxing, but that almost immediately dissolves into the woeful waters traversed from "The Bastard Son" straight through to the end of the title track.

This album may be more polished and inviting on the surface as a result of its evidently improved production quality, but that doesn't mean Monolord have forgotten what about their band attracts an audience, and they do everything possible to make up for any feelings of joy or happiness the listener might be experiencing. It's not nearly as blatantly self-destructive as funeral doom, but that's what gives it its poignancy. This is a far more relatable kind of sadness as opposed to the over-the-top suicidal depressive tendencies present in extreme doom and similar metal sub-variants, and that's almost entirely owed to the grounded mix highlighting the snail-paced chugging riffs.

No Comfort isn't the most crushing, catchy, or even well-written Monolord album to date. It's watered down compared to previous releases and it lacks their unrelenting tone, but it comes across as the most driven, sought-after sound the band has achieved to date, which is saying a lot considering Empress Rising hits all those nails on the head and then some. However, with its funereal passages, groovy melodies, and reverb-heavy clean vocals, this is an excellent crossover stoner doom album worth adding to your collection as a fan of either genre.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Production: 8


 



Written on 29.09.2019 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.


Comments

Comments: 4   Visited by: 39 users
30.09.2019 - 00:23
Ilham
Giant robot
When I logged back on for the first time a couple weeks ago, I was very happy to see these guys had just released a new album. I listened to it and I agree on several points of the review.

I liked the songs, even if they had less bite and groove to them. The sound is definitely less fluffy and less "fat". I'm hoping that's just a production/punctual writing choice because I'm still planning on getting my insides mashed by the vibrations from that bass during one of their live shows. Mama needs more.

Also I love that cover art.
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30.09.2019 - 00:53
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Ilham on 30.09.2019 at 00:23
When I logged back on for the first time a couple weeks ago, I was very happy to see these guys had just released a new album. I listened to it and I agree on several points of the review.

I liked the songs, even if they had less bite and groove to them. The sound is definitely less fluffy and less "fat". I'm hoping that's just a production/punctual writing choice because I'm still planning on getting my insides mashed by the vibrations from that bass during one of their live shows. Mama needs more.

Also I love that cover art.

It was one of the new releases I most looked forward to upon my return, not having realized it even existed until logging in like you. It didn't quite live up to my hopes but it's still a really good album, plus it reminded me to listen to Empress Rising again which is always appreciated.

I'm positive the lighter tone is going to be limited purely to the album. I can't imagine them performing anything other than skeleton-crushing riffs live. Unfortunately for me I don't know if a return to Canada will ever be in the cards but you bet I'm going if they come back.

Agreed on the cover art too. It's a nice return to form after seeing Vaenir and Rust.
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I have no memory of this place.
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03.10.2019 - 17:00
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
I recall quite enjoying the debut from these guys when you Staff picked it way back when, but haven't listened to anything by them since. Bout time to hop back onboard?
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Now who should I call? Should I call Mr. Strawberry?
No, I don't think I'll call Mr. Strawberry. I don't think he's taking calls.
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03.10.2019 - 17:19
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Apothecary on 03.10.2019 at 17:00

I recall quite enjoying the debut from these guys when you Staff picked it way back when, but haven't listened to anything by them since. Bout time to hop back onboard?

I've come to appreciate their entire discography even though I still think Empress Rising is significantly better than anything they've released since. Like I'd still recommend this album and the ones before it, just not as much as I did with the debut. Worth hopping back onboard for sure.
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I have no memory of this place.
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