Riding Easy Records
Review by Mike Bax
Soooo fucking good!!
Hm. Maybe a little more than that, yes? When guitar player and vocalist Thomas Jäger (Marulk), drummer Esben Willems (Marulk) and bassist Mika Häkki (Rotten Sound) got together in 2013 and unleashed Empress Rising upon unsuspecting masses, the album was universally lauded among doom-metal enthusiasts as something genuinely exciting within the genre. CVLT Nation named it the number one doom release of 2014. And here we are now with Monolord’s sophomore release – Vænir (release last week, on April 28th).
Six sludgy, doom laden tracks of sullen excellence that somehow manage to up their game from last year’s Empress Rising. Much of the material on Vænir sounds like the love child of Black Sabbath and Melvins performed at half speed. The ten-minute long “Died A Million Times” (for me, anyway) is the signature track on the album, if nothing else for the creative use of swirling guitar riffs reminiscent of the finest Sabbath songs.
Yet another wonderful band hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, Monolord do more than deliver the goods on Vænir – they are paving the way for doom metal, setting a high benchmark for everyone else within the genre to aspire to.