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Monomyth - Orbis Quadrantis CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.99 | 17 ratings

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4 stars Monomyth is a another psychedelic/space rock band from the Netherlands. This band was formed in 2011 by drummer Sander Evers and bassist Selwyn Slop, the band released its first album in 2013. Currently, the remainder of the band consists of Peter van der Meer (keys, guitar), Tjerk Stoop (digital, guitar), and Boudewijn Bonebakker (guitar). Their forth album, released in September of 2019, is called "Orbis Quadrantis" and consists of 4 epic tracks that together make up a total run- time of around 41 minutes. The album is available on CD, Vinyl and FLAC download on Bandcamp.

From the beginning, you'll notice the music is not rushed as the first track "Aquilo" (12:03) takes its own sweet time to slowly develop from silence, building in a minimal manner with soft keys and guitar effects, and slowly increasing in volume. Drums finally come in a bit before the 4 minute mark, and they continue with the slow crawl already established by the instruments. The intensity jumps up a few notches at this time, but remains quite atmospheric, with the guitars slowly pumping out melodic patterns and the keys holding everything on the ground with sustained chords, almost sounding mellotron-like. Just before 7 minutes, the drums stop and shimmering keys hold the placement of the track until the sudden thumping bass can come in, bringing back the drums with them, and quickly establishing a more mid-tempo sound while echoing guitars play around with an embellished melody. At ten minutes, the guitar takes off on another melodic sequence, this time with a fuller sound that soon involves a release of tension with changing chords that carries it all to a satisfying conclusion.

"Eurus" (10:11) takes off on a lively beat hashed out between drums, percussion and guitar, making for a great, upbeat and driving beginning, quickly renewing your interest while making your foot tap along. The guitar soon takes off on an improvised, yet melodic theme. Soon the guitar plays with the rhythm making everything quite catchy, especially for a space rock style, and you'll find yourself bouncing along with an imaginary concert crowd, shouting "more cow bell, please". The guitars continue to change the main line to keep things fresh and interesting. Excellent jam! Around the 6 minute mark, the tempo slows and becomes more solid, pounding and crashing along with the repeating guitar riff, then becoming softer. The track then slips into a more psychedelic feel with synths and meandering guitars, decreasing in volume along the way until the drums disappear completely and the music lets the guitars just carry you softly to the end.

"Auster" (9:00) takes you by surprise with a programmed synth pattern of a fast moving arpeggio-based riff. A fuzzy guitar plays low notes against this pattern as repeated keyboard notes start to build excitement and then the drums join in with a jangly guitar layer. More keyboard and guitar themes join in to the building layers of patterns as everything builds. There are quite an array of sounds and themes here between all of the instruments that work quite cohesively, taking little parts of a larger theme and pushing things forward. The build up here is very effective and there are times when it really gets your blood boiling as the music constantly reaches forward, culminating in a short pause in percussion, and then resuming again with increased vigor, always pushing for another higher level, saving the biggest pay off for the very end.

"Favonius" (9:08) starts with low shimmering synths and a guitar line that ascends and descends, creating a wave-like effect while the soft drums and keys play along and you float in a more blissful state as the minimal atmosphere carries you away. A slow crescendo starts bringing in new keyboard effects and as the volume builds, so does the intensity, yet the drums stay moderately slow through it. This slow space jam reaches the apex of the crescendo and things just float along for a while with jangly guitar chords creating a new climb towards another level. Finally after 6 minutes, the music gets suddenly heavy and full, and it all crashes to a sudden halt, then guitar feedback swirls downward and disappears as a lone guitar plays. The drums then come in with a smoother sound and we float along until the end.

This is a great album, especially for those that like the space rock instrumental sound with the addition of a lot of great dynamics. The instruments all work together well, creating some nice tight jams that don't always rely on repetition so much, but instead build new and interesting patterns and short melodic lines that never stay stagnant for very long. This makes the music very enjoyable and easy to listen to, plus the dynamics always carry the promise of some great climactic moments. This is not so much of an album to just float off into eternity on, but more of an album you can simply put on, enjoy and feel good about. The two middle, more infectious and heavier tracks are sandwiched between tracks that open and close in a more laid-back style, but all the while, there is plenty of variety in the sound that it never becomes boring. This is definitely a great effort by this band, who proves with this album that they are searching for ways to expand the boundaries of the genre.

TCat | 4/5 |


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