MONADS – IVIIV | Aristocrazia Webzine


Band: Monads
Title: IVIIV
Year: 2017
Country: Belgium
Label: Aesthetic Death

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  1. Leviathan As My Lament
  2. Your Wounds Were My Temple
  3. To A Bloodstained Shore
  4. The Despair Of An Aeon

We had already met Monads, this funeral doom metal project hailing from Belgium, several years ago, when they had just released the obscure demo "Intellectus Iudicat Veritatem" (which lasted about an hour). A long time has passed since, as also stated by the band's founder Hans Cools (guitars, also seen with Hypothermia) in the booklet "IVIIV". Six long years of creative suffering and despair that materialized in the fifty minutes of music that I am about to review.

The first change is clear: Monads' visuals have been updated and brought far from the minimal approach of the demo, embracing a certain elegance and solemnity here depicted by Billy Bayou (also known for being a part of the French black metal band Glorior Belli). For the release of what is their actual first full-lenght album, Monads managed to capture the attention of the English label Aesthetic Death (Esoteric, Mourning Dawn, and many other evil people), with great results both in terms of quality and distribution (although unfortunately the digipak doesn't feature the lyrics).

"Leviathan As My Lament" takes us to the sad world portrayed by the quintet with its slow and dark pace, even featuring a quasi-death section and a post-rock passage, while Rob Polon's growls give life to the Leviathan that embodies our pain. The four songs are a mixture of evil and despair, clearly drawing inspiration from the main bands of the scene (such as Evoken or Mournful Congregation), and yet Monads succeeded at bestowing a personal aura upon their grief and music.

That aura will make us want to get back to them in the immense ocean of doom metal, a vast sea they have managed to emerge from, taking us to a bloodstained shore. Actually, "To A Bloodstained Shore" itself also contains an interesting aspect, as the guitar parts in its ending were improvised in studio by Cools and Breulet, while the rest of the album is the result of over six years of composition work. The closure with "The Despair Of An Aeon" is praiseworthy as well, moving closer to that kind of cosmic malaise usually found in classic funeral doom metal, again with that atmospheric touch that we might define as typical Monads sound at this point.

It had been quite some time since the last time I met an emerging name in the funeral doom scene of such quality, and frankly it is a pity that it took "IVIIV" so long to be released. Nevertheless, although with some big delay, I can say that Monads easily entered the list of projects all fans of doom metal might want to keep an eye on; this being said, I would actually also recommend them to people who are not that used to dealing with heavy and gloomy distortions smeared over fifteen-minute songs, given their attention to variety. I sure hope to see them live sooner or later.