Onhou crush together sludge, doom, and post-metal into a dense ball of heaviness and mood. Containing four songs spread over 42 very moreish minutes, Monument is a record that any adherent to the cult of sludge should seek out.
Onhou combine massive heaviness with intricate introspection well, resulting in expressive songs that mesmerise and hypnotise as much as they demolish and destroy. The band’s gargantuan riffs are underpinned by unforgiving drums and earthy bass. Keyboards are used to layer the music with funereal presence or subtle soundscapes, and these are integral to the full appreciation of Onhou’s sound.
The vocals are a mix of immense bellows from the guitarist, and raw harsh screams from the keyboardist. Both are well-performed and work well together, frequently supporting and augmenting each other’s delivery.
The music is well-crafted and draws you in instantly. Monument sounds apocalyptic and brimming with darkness, yet this is a shaded form of gloom, revealing moments of light and texture within the shadows. Bleak, yet detailed and surprisingly warm, Monument is a captivating example of how to merge atmospheric immersion with world-eating devastation.
Onhou have sufficient familiarity in their sound that they can hit the ground running, while boasting enough of their own personality and character to be worth getting absorbed in. Honestly, if you’re a fan of this sort of doom – acidic sludge, intimate-yet-sprawling atmosphere, and massive guitars – then Monument is a big win. If you are partial to acts like Warhorse, Electric Wizard, Yob, Conan, and Ufomammut then this is for you.
Very highly recommended.