Monovoth Pleroma_mortem_est

Monovoth - Pleroma Mortem Est


“Most Of All Is Death” is a Funeral Doom album centered around the subject of Death.

That’s one very legit way to summarize the sophomore album of Lucas Wyssbrod’s instrumental project Monovoth. In other news, water is liquid and the Earth is round. But hear me out! The simplicity of the premise only strengthens the outcome.

I already loved the Argentinian’s self-titled debut from 2022, which combined elements of Funeral Doom with Drone, Death and Post Metal. The golden thread holding these influences together was an immense all-devouring sadness of almost incomprehensible proportions. It went so far in hammering out its display of depression that the easiest way to rationalize it was to just put an Avant-Garde tag on the whole thing.

In that regard the follow-up is a much easier album. On Pleroma Mortem Est there’s a clear restriction and focus in style, which frees the listener from any contemplation about the technicalities of musical classification. This is Funeral Doom is Funeral Doom is Funeral Doom. No intellectual distractions or obstacles beyond that. You just give yourself over and let Monovoth do the rest! In greater context beyond our personal experiences Death is an ambvivalent force which doesn’t fit into our concept of good and evil. Mirroring that notion this album refuses to take a black and white stance on its subject. You never quiet know whether you’re sinking and drowning or actually drifting upwards. Is the weight of the waves crashing above you pushing you down? Or is the tide actually rising and taking you towards safety and peace?

As much of a cliché as it is to attribute the juxtaposition of crushing heaviness with painful beauty to any work of this genre, this is exactly where Monovoth succeeds on a spectacular level. To make use of another stereotype, they are really both different sides of the same coin. And that giant coin is flipped on a mountain top far beyond our reach. The heaviness isn’t aimed at us with evil intend as much as the beauty isn’t sculptured to please our small aesthetic well-beings. They are rather natural forces, cosmic states of existence. Pleroma Mortem Est is one of those albums, which can surround you in totality and and make you feel like a small speck in its heightened reality. Everything here is the fading dust of dying stars. Always and never. Cyclic and timeless.

Since the critical recognition of Mirror Reaper not only beyond its sub-subgenre, but even outside the circles of distorted guitar music as a whole it’s of course almost impossible to write about this particular blend of Funeral Doom without name-dropping Bell Witch. And in fact especially during its sparsely instrumented passages of interlude nature there are obvious musical parallels. With six tracks within a total playing time below forty minutes however this is still far from the unimaginable scale in which Bell Witch are operating now. And as much as the duo’s Clandestine Gate is among my very favorite records of 2023, evoking a similar spirit, but confining the creative outcome to a space which somehow still can be perceived applying the general laws of Metal actually plays in Monovoth’s favour.

This album is a mountain, but it’s conquerable without structuring your whole day around it. As mundane and contradictive to all my oh so transcendent statements about this music as it may sound: I appreciate the consumer-friendly convenience. You don’t stumble upon a massive, gripping Funeral Doom masterpiece in this format - and not feeling too short - everyday. Even though Death doesn’t care about my opinion: I hear nothing to improve here. To my humble ears everything about Pleroma Mortem Est is flawless.