Monolord Credit: Ester Segarra

Whenever an outsider style of rock music finds crossover success, it’s inevitably plagued with a surge of mediocre newcomers, but one band to rise above that fray in recent years is Swedish trio Monolord. The Gothenburg group formed in 2013 and released two promising albums on Rising Easy before making their Relapse debut with 2017’s Rust—as perfect a traditional stoner-metal album as anyone has put out this decade. On their brand-new No Comfort, Monolord have stripped back some of their characteristic fuzz to highlight their songwriting prowess and the sheer magnitude of their sound. Though the album kicks off with an all-too-familiar Electric Wizard-flavored opening track, “The Bastard Son,” the group’s rehashing of the basics stops there. “The Last Leaf” combines atmospheric grooves with despondent lyrics about caring too much in an indifferent world. That bleakness becomes outright apathy in “Larvae,” culminating with ferocious, bottom-heavy chugging. “Skywards” barrels through throbbing, lumbering riffs before lifting off with guitar lines worthy of Thin Lizzy’s most victorious march—and even more striking is its stark, heart-rending closing passage. As with any great band in this style, the most important aspect is arguably the tone of the guitar and bass, and in this regard, a ticket to see Monolord in action is worth the price just to immerse yourself in the eye of their sonic storm.   v