Di, 07.12.2021
2G Event - Eintritt nur für Geimpfte und Genesene
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Gefördert von Neustart Kultur, Initiative Musik und der BKM

“From the very beginning, our aim has been to create the heaviest sound possible, but at the same time maintaining groove and melody. Being three individuals with very different frames of reference in most things, we’ve reached our common ground in Monolord. We have a strong collective sense of what the band’s sound and vibe is. It's not necessarily always a rumbling wall of sound, which I feel is shown on No Comfort​.”
That’s Monolord drummer Esben Willems talking about the band’s fourth and latest album. With ​No Comfort​, the Swedish power trio has taken their distinct brand of psychedelic doom into the upper echelons of the genre. But really it’s just the most recent triumph from a band that has conquered global audiences with towering riffs and crowd-crushing appearances at Roadburn, Desertfest and Psycho Las Vegas.
In just six years of existence, Monolord have released four full-lengths, an EP and a pair of ten-inch singles, each more impressive than its predecessor. But ​No Comfort stands atop the heap, a masterful convergence of thundering grooves, soaring vocals and glistening melodies. “I think the song ‘No Comfort’ is the best song I have ever written,” Monolord vocalist, guitarist and lyricist Thomas Jäger says of the album’s title track. “And you can sum up the lyrics of the whole album into that concept because it’s not a bright idea of life that we’ve got going on.”
In fact, ​No Comfort​ is Monolord’s most personal album to date. “Thomas wrote all lyrics, mostly based on processing tough personal experiences, but I relate heavily to them, connecting them to my own life and what goes on in the world around us,” Willems explains. “Many of the lyrics also question the existence of religion and general hatred and ignorance spreading like a pandemic across the globe. Misanthropy is a constant theme in our conversations—it’s a struggle to not lose faith in humanity when the world is on fire and all we do is argue about how to put the fire out, or question if there even is a fire.
“It’s more emotional than the others,” Jäger adds. “There’s lyrics about disease—we’ve had relatives with cancer and things like this—and when you think you’re done with one crisis, the next one comes along. So sometimes you feel there’s no comfort left. Anyone going through a rough time can relate, I think.”
The somber ten-minute epic “Larvae” is so emotional, in fact, that it brought Jäger’s own mother to tears. “And she’s not really into this kind of music,” he clarifies. “She’s only listening because I’m in the band. But the song is about an old woman—all her friends die and her husband dies. She prays to God to save them from their diseases but that doesn’t happen, so she ends up just being alone and thinks, ‘God’s just testing me—it’s going to be fine soon.’ But it never gets better.”
The album’s booming leadoff cut, “The Bastard Son,” sets ​No Comfort​’s tone both musically and thematically. “We thought that song was like a best-of-Monolord record in one track,” Jäger explains. “As soon as you hear it, you know it’s us.” Lyrically, the song strikes an anti-religious tone sheathed in commentary on humanity’s merciless exploitation of the Earth’s resources. “The bastard son is partly Jesus, but you could also say it’s the whole human race,” Jäger explains. “We’re here to stay, we’re taking over the world and we’re slowly killing it. But no one cares because everyone wants to make money.”
Meanwhile, “The Last Leaf” is like an anthemic 70s rock song with detuned guitars. That it follows “The Bastard Son” is no accident, given the setting: “For this one I’m having more of a post-apocalyptic image in my head, like the movie ​The Road​,” Jäger offers. “If you imagine that kind of scenery, it’s a person or group of persons that travels through this landscape and you don’t know if the people they meet are good or bad.”
It’s not just the songs that set ​No Comfort​ apart. This time around, Monolord have also achieved a new level of sonic clarity. “This is the first time we didn’t record ourselves,” Jäger explains. “We have recorded everything before in our rehearsal space, which is like four by four square meters. So we said we’re not doing one more album in this shithole!”
Instead, they convened outside Gothenburg at Let Them Swing Studio, which had recently been opened by their friend Kim Gravander. So recently, in fact, that Monolord were the first band recorded there. As such, Gravandar engineered ​No Comfort​ personally and shares production credits with the band. “Working there made it possible to record all three of us at once,” bassist Mika Häkki explains. “​I made my bass lines more detailed, and got more playful and groovy together with the drums.”
“I think the sound is a bit more cleaned up,” Jäger offers. “It’s probably the best production we’ve had.”
After the startling image on the cover of their 2017 album, ​Rust​—two old cars planted vertically in a desolate dirt patch—Monolord knew they had a lot to live up to with ​No Comfort​’s album cover. “With covers in general, we always feel we need to find something that you won’t expect,” Jäger says. “Or if you ​do​ expect it, it needs to be really fucking good looking.”
Which is why you’d be forgiven for thinking the cover of ​No Comfort​ is a photo illustration. But that close-up of an owl in flight with a space shuttle blasting off in the background? It’s actually a painting by a young Swedish artist named Alexander Fjelnseth. Häkki saw it at an exhibition that he and his wife attended a few years ago. “The lighting of that painting just speaks to me,” the bassist says. “It has a certain classic, almost iconic feel to it.”

“When we knew that ​No Comfort​ would be the title, we felt this would be the perfect cover,” Jäger explains. “You’ve got this image of someone basically running away from Earth, but in a spaceship, and the only ones left are gonna be the birds or animals that have to deal with our stuff when we’re gone.”
After three albums with RidingEasy, Monolord are set to release ​No Comfort​ through Relapse, while retaining RidingEasy boss Daniel Hall as their manager. ​“​We’ve had an amazing ride with RidingEasy Records and I’m thrilled that the work we did with Daniel Hall at the label created the opportunity to be able to continue with a heavyweight, music-loving label like Relapse,” Willems concludes. “I’m very excited by the times ahead.”
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