Conan - _Monnos_
(Burning World, 2012)
by: Johnathan A. Carbon (6.5 out of 10)
Encountering the British act Conan, one sees familiar themes. Doom metal with sword and sorcery lyrics is something that has been done countless times in the past. Conan's first full-length, however, makes itself known by a different strength. Though the band treads familiar ground, this three-piece manages to make a minor breakthrough in the arena of doom -- namely one that suffocates its listeners with four feet of heavy distortion.

Conan immediately sets itself apart from the throng of doom by having a ridiculous amount of low driven fuzz. It is blinding. It is stifling. It is intimidating. While this aural aspect is one of doom's hallmarks, _Monnos_ is off balanced and uses a flood to drown sparse lyrics in a torrent of slow destruction. Conan's direction is reminiscent of stoner doom but played with the intensity of drone and funeral doom. That previous sentence may not make sense to some people, so we will reiterate in saying: _Monnos_ is heavy as fuck.

_Monnos_ encounters a conceptual flaw when its direction points only one way. Doom has elicited a wonderful variety of releases when its style does not mire its ability to progress. Conan may excel at reaching sonic lands uncharted, yet the album becomes taxing after the initial offering of "Hawk as a Weapon". I say this with hesitation because the combination of fantasy lyrics with drowning fuzz is one thousand percent effective and pleasing.

I feel that _Monnos_ is a great addition for newcomers into the lands of doom, if for nothing else than its remarkable ability to strip the last fibers of feeling. _Monnos_ should not be thought of as a bad record, as it is surprising and engaging if one wishes to traverse doom ridden lands during the Hyborian age.

(article published 1/7/2012)

3/24/2014 P Schwarz Conan / Opium Lord / Bismuth Entranced at Death: They Will Destroy
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