Monstrorum Historia

Written by: SC on 10/04/2013 00:04:22

Lo! is a quartet coming all the way from Australia to introduce you to their vision of how to play metal. "Monstrorum Historia" is their second album and it is a very differentiated beast to describe containing elements of sludge, hardcore, doom and more experimental parts with an overall touch of post-metal, and combining all of this just stresses the darkness and aggression one will find on the record.

Opening track “As Above” is an evolving instrumental track which in low pace and volume, in a doomy kind of way - slowly without any sign of being out of control - escalates to a noisy army marching tightly in step towards the confrontation with the beast that lurks in the following couple of tracks. “Bloody Vultures” and “Ghost Promenade” are some of the more sludge-oriented tracks with heavy guitar-hooks and tight drumming with loads of varying tempi and noise levels letting the tracks constantly develop despite the consistently rough, almost growling vocals from the lead singer. On “Ghost Promenade” the band has made space for the guitar to stand alone for approximately 30 seconds only supported by skewed, turned down drumming, giving an almost jazzy feel in the middle of the inferno.

“Caruncula” and “Lichtenberg Figures” is leaning more towards hardcore tracks with a higher pace and a more ferocious expression. These two tracks are surrounding the tracks “Haven, Beneath Weeping Willows & Crooked Path” and “The Stranger's Ritual” which is two experimental instrumental intermezzos which enclose the doomy and sludgy track “Fallen Leaves” on each side. The interlude tracks incorporate respectively slow doom combined with some sort of an organ in the background, distorted radio tapes of people who are sounding frightened and a kind of escalating electronic sound in the background, and this is just the temporarily domesticated creature waiting to strike when “Lichtenberg Figures” attacks your ears.

One of my favourite tracks on “Monstrorum Historia” is the second to last track called “Palisades Of Fire” which opens up with a shouting duet between the lead singer and one of the other band members only supported by some slow heavy drumming and the guitar occasionally being used. Then the speed increases and the guitars and the drumming get a bit crooked and off beat which sounds really cool and fits perfectly into Lo!’s dark universe. “Monstorum Historia” is overall an exciting listen if you take your time, with plenty of room for experimentation and pompous hardcore sludge creating a varied tempo and making the record change constantly. But, it never really gets under my skin despite the high quality and I just cannot put a finger on why. I suspect that this record is one of those I will dig out within half a year and then it might just fit in perfectly.

Download: Palisades Of Fire, Ghost Promenade, Lichtenberg Figures
For The Fans Of: Red Fang, Barricade, Mastodon
Listen: facebook.com/lookandbehold

Release Date 29.04.2013
Pelagic Records

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