Sometimes when a band reaches a certain, prolific level, the pressure to be the loudest, the heaviest, the riffiest, and the most of the most becomes almost unbearable. Luckily, for Monolord, one of the world’s biggest doom bands, they know who they are and what they’re trying to do with their music, and they made a record without worrying about genre distinctions or the pressure of previous works. The result is glorious.  

“It’s always been an ongoing process with our music, from day one,” says drummer Esben Williams. “We haven’t really separated one album from the next, so when it was time to work on this one, we just did what we usually do. There’s a Tetris-building period of time where we basically jut work with a bunch of ideas until they distill into an album. We’ve worked with the material and kept our ears open, but we aren’t trying to go for a predefined sound.”  

And the result of that process, Your Time To Shine, out now via Relapse Records, is a fun, heavy, and, for lack of a less cheesy descriptor, hard-rocking record, but not necessarily what you’d expect from Monolord. It’s a bit darker and heavier than their past work in places, but it’s also fun and catchy, more rock ‘n’ roll and less complete doom and riff destruction, like some of their past efforts. Even the album cover image, a seemingly dead rabbit surrounded by flowers, is both surreal and dark but also, somehow, fun.  

“The cover artwork is interesting; I actually didn’t like it at first,” Williams admits. “I liked the photo, but I didn’t think it fit the music, but then it lingered. After a time, I thought it really fit, and now I think it’s the best one yet. I like the contrast of the colors and the cute bunny, but the bunny is dead. And I like the contrast of the atypical vibe of the artwork in contrast to the music you play. You can’t immediately see what genre or what sound this is, and for me, I think that elevated things, and defined the vibe of the record.”  

Truly, that aforementioned vibe is really what carries the record. Nothing about it is typical of a heavy doom band, but at the same time, they aren’t breaking new ground or exploring new waters in a way that won’t resonate with folks. It still feels like good, fun, heavy rock with a lot of interesting elements going on.  

Usually, when a band says they made a record free of genre constraints, it either means they went head-on experimental, or the album is uninspired. In this case, neither are true. It really is just an album not confined by its genre.  

When it comes to how this new record will be received, Williams just wants listeners to go into the experience with no expectations. 

“I hope people will just listen to it with an open mind and not think of the genre or label. I hope they listen to it and just think, ‘I’m putting on the new Monolord record.’ It doesn’t matter what genre or label it is filed under in the record store. It’s a new album by us, and I hope they like it.”  

Watch the video for “The Weary” here:

For more from Monolord, find them on Facebook, Twitter, and their official website.

Photo courtesy of Monolord and Josefine Larsson

Author

Addison is reviews and online news editor for New Noise. She specializes in metal, queer issues, and dog cuddles.

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