Ahhh, funeral doom. You’ll never leave me, right? No matter what happens, I’ll always have you to turn to in times of loss and hopelessness? Right?
When I think of funeral doom I usually think of slow, mournful music, full of despair and woe, powered by an grimly emotive negativity and topped off with deep, growling vocals. Well, this describes Monads quite well.
Each purveyor of the funeral doom style has their own way of adding to the misery, of course, their own refinements. In the case of Monads one of the things that stands out in their delivery is just how grimly despondent their music is. This is definitely an underground version of an already quite underground style. IVIIV reeks of old despair and half-forgotten pain. It’s an effective delivery method, and the songs are very atmospheric, but without dealing in a lot of the usual atmospheric-enhancing components; there are no keyboards and melody is kept to a minimum.
Although the band create crushing walls of heaviness with ease, I also like the lighter, more reflective and laid back moments that occur here and there. It shows that Monads have more than one tool in their toolbox with which to achieve their goals. On the opposite end of the spectrum we also occasionally get moments of blast beat destruction, which have a blackened sheen to them when they appear, putting me in mind of some of Lycus‘ work.
The singer has a ragged, throaty growl that has a certain wet quality to it now and again that somehow seems to make his voice seem more threatening than a lot of ostensibly similar vocalists. He’s quite expressive and inhuman both at the same time; his voice has an animal quality to it that’s nicely offset by how clearly engaged and enthused he is about what he’s doing.
IVIIV is a strong album. Any funeral doom fan would be well-advised to give this a go.