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Review by Vladimir on May 2, 2023.
Polish one-man black metal band Zørormr returns after 7 years with its fourth full-length album The Monolith, which was released on March 24th through Moloch's label Via Nocturna, featuring Icanraz (drums) and Quazarre (lead guitar) as guest musicians.
The Monolith begins with the title track, which starts out slowly and eerie with synths and some chilling sound effects before drums and guitars take the lead. Although rhythmically slow at first, it quickly changes to aggressive tremolo riffing and blast beats, with harsh vocals joining along for the ride. The good thing about the song is that it constantly changes tempo and I really like the fact that it's pretty dynamic, even though I was afraid that it might be monotone. The track which I like particularly for its aggressive riffing, wonderful solos and even the title is the fourth track 'I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream'. To some it may seem like a cheesy song title, but I personally found it to be quite a powerful message. Tracks on the album don't really differentiate all that much, but what I like a lot is that there are always powerful lead sections and guitar solos that go along nicely with the heavy and melodic riffs. When paying closer attention to the musical style all the way down to the riffs, drumming, solos etc., during certain sections it felt like I was listening to some later Necrophobic albums which have songs in a similar songwriting fashion. Although the songs are impressive sounding, I did have a bit of a hard time to really get into this album as a whole. My problem with the songs is that they aren't really all that memorable and strong for me to get immersed or sucked into, despite having very cool moments from time to time. Maybe it's just a matter of preference, but I think that a lot of other people who search for something "tangible" in the music might also have a hard time finding something to their liking. Another thing I would like to talk about is the album cover by Paweł Kuranda, which although looks impressive and awesome, felt a bit strange because it looks like it's something that came straight out of a comic book, even the character on the cover looks like the Silver Surfer from the Marvel comics. The album's production is very modern and high quality, but generally speaking, the heavy guitar tone, distorted bass, heavy drums and harsh vocals are all top notch.
Although the album isn’t something that could hold my attention from start to finish, nevertheless managed to provide some decent level of satisfaction. It's far from a bad experience, but I wish there was a bit more to what I could grasp and enjoy. I would say that is more or less meant for fans of modern sounding black metal bands that don't necessarily excel or stand out.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10704