Review: Monovoth ‘Monovoth’

One-man band Monovich is the brainchild of Lucas Wyssbrod, his previous projects include MOSTRO, Golden Cannibal, and Hail The Invisibles. Forgoing the use of vocals, this is what some would call ‘instrumental music’; which is rarely my go to choice. Lately, I’ve been stepping out of the crutch of needing singing or growls and attempting to slide into this wheelhouse and find some new experience. Besides, the use of self-descriptions like luminous, lumbering, disquietude, Bell Witch, Mizmor, Sunn O))), Gorguts, and avant-doom imply there will certainly be plenty to my liking.

Monovoth 'Monovoth'

Before we get to the review, Wyssbrod suggests this album is a view into some great, dark beyond. A place where a female extra-terrestrial deity, corrupts the implication Catholic religion has on virginity. They’re suspended in the voids of space as depicted on the album’s cover art.

Opening track, The Key, wastes no time showing a musical flower bud opening and showing off its maturing beauty layer by layer. A kaleidoscope of multi-colored petals sway slowly and powerful revealing thick guitar weaves seamlessly through subdued drums. Fuzzed doom explosions simmer and pulsate along bass grooves.

Guitars begin so daintily grow and blossom on Ulcerated And Ablazed. It’s a canvas filled with abstract shapes, hues of sound and colored noises. Clear drumming eventually comes in creating mental images of Wyssbrod sitting during the recording, hunched backed attention solely in reacting to his own guitars as the artist adds more depth. Organic sounds of waves wash away instruments, cleansing the palette.

A somber, slow beginning to Servants fills the emotional soundscape with the luminal despair walking down an endless corridor. After walking an unknown distance, a change kicks in flooding the music with thick light. Deep in the mix, a collection of strummed guitars wretch and shrivel. Each note slides down never able to adhere. The slippery floor thwarts any attempt at catching them.

Tace Dolorem‘s echoed tones fade and bounce away, if the previous track couldn’t hold notes, this one can’t seem to let them go. Each sinister key played leaves a deep imprint, but the main focus is all this reverb collecting in large masses to our sides. Soon the feedback’s weight gives and falls away to be exchanged for a simple guitar and drum playing together. Gaining an uncanny fashion, each note saturates and curls to only be bent. Each distortion is explored and mined for all its worth.

Fuzzed doom explosions simmer and pulsate along bass grooves…

At this point, the huge sadness advertised just rolls off my back. The long opening on Hands leads to a haunting field recording start. Faster drumming juxtaposes with slowing guitars. Nothing is matched in time, breaking my thoughts into countless directions. A thick bass gels everything back together but something feels off. I can’t put my finger on what it is exactly, and maybe I’m not supposed to be able to.

Taking inspiration from all consuming monsters such as The Blob, Akira, and myself in a self-serve coffee station, Laesura consumes everything in its path. Each note played adds weight as an endless hunger no space could possibly contain. Dripping with guitars and beaten drums, the monster of a track eventually collapses. Festering feedback pockets burst and a bubbling slow death begins. Each instrument section dies slowly as we listen in a grotesque fascination until the final chord fades away.

Slack jawed and stunned, an odd feeling of home comes in the form of western style guitars. Slowly it puts the mind back together piece by piece after a harsh cleansing on album closer Cerro Sangre.

On my first two play throughs, I chose to close my eyes, picturing the deity described by Wyssbrod. While subsequent times I drifted into my own headspace envisioning something vaguely foreign, yet overwhelmingly familiar.

An endless corridor that is empty, yet the fear of suffocation by crowding is ever present. An unused sewer system occupied and contaminated with my own being. Rooms lush with a distinct single memory in houses that simply do not exist. Time means nothing in any of these places. Endless freedoms only drown. Emotions and experiences mean nothing to a god. Your mind breaking doesn’t affect her in the slightest.

Label: Trepanation Recordings
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Richard Murray