Monolord - Your Time to Shine (2021)
I have been a big fan of Monolord since 2015's Vaenir, which is still the summit of the band's output for me, but their previous album No Comfort, despite still being a decent album, felt a little lacking to me and, ironically, a little too comfortable. Your Time to Shine however, sees the band getting somewhat back on track for their debut Relapse Records release, albeit still falling a bit short when compared to Vaenir.
YTtS has big doomy riffs and the band's now familiar washed-out vocal style mixed with the occasional psychedelic part that is pretty much par for the course in quite a lot of modern traditional doom metal. The songwriting is great and the album pacing is superb as it builds from the opening track The Weary, it gains in momentum like a tidal wave so that by the time we get to the title track we are washed away by it's melancholy power. This is also an album of contrasting themes and atmospheres, from light and airy psychedelic moments to heart-crushingly melancholic doom riffs which reaches it's culmination on the epic closer, The Siren of Yersinia.
So with Your Time to Shine Monolord have developed their sound a little further, without abandoning what makes for great traditional doom and in so doing have got themselves back on track after a somewhat lacklustre previous effort.