ALBUM REVIEW: Monolord – Your Time To Shine

Five albums into a career as one of the top bands in the modern Stoner Doom scene, Monolord offers their mellow, tripped-out effort to date with Your Time To Shine (Relapse Records). While there’s still plenty of dank fuzziness to go around, it feels almost like a backdrop at times as the cleaner guitar textures are given near equal priority and the vocals are at their most prominent. Fortunately, it feels like more of a culmination of a gradual trajectory rather than a radical shift in direction; after all, these elements started gaining traction on 2019’s No Comfort and it’s easy to imagine guitarist/vocalist Thomas V. Jager’s 2020 solo album rubbing off on the process.

Right off the bat, the first three tracks employ this Psychedelic approach to some intriguing extents. The pounding chords that kick off ‘The Weary’ may provide the album’s most oppressive segment, but it soon settles into a more easygoing rock beat as the vocals take over. ‘To Each Their Own’ mixes acoustic verses with a trudging Sludge swing, resulting in what feels like a song off A Solitary Plan with more fleshed out heavy parts. ‘I’ll Be Damned’ feels like the most like what Monolord has done before, allowing for more direct Stoner riffage while still boasting memorable vocal/guitar interplay.


The last two tracks are where things get even more interesting; their mammoth lengths and significantly slower tempos would suggest the deepest of Doom excursions, but they end up offering an even more dynamic twist. The title track is an especially strong highlight, putting its slow burn grind through a melancholic lens with trippy filters gradually lathered on as it continues, while ‘The Siren Of Yersinia’ pushes its sludge-ballad template to its furthest extents. It’s impressive how these songs may be the most loosely flowing and easiest to feel out on the album despite their longer runtimes.

Seeing how a lot of Monolord’s appeal has always come down to their more melodic flair than their peers, it’s not surprising for them to do so well when they commit to it even more on Your Time To Shine. While a more dynamic sound doesn’t necessarily translate to a more accessible one, I think 2017’s Rust may still be their most palatable entry point overall, there’s a whole lot of strong songwriting and the vocal/instrument interplay makes for some lush textures. It’s always satisfying when a band can maintain high quality over a steady evolution.


Buy the album here:


9 / 10