Sep 012022

Last May I took a blind chance on the music of Mondocane, diving into this Stockholm solo project’s second album Gloria without any previous exposure to Mondocone‘s creations. That turned out to be a winning gamble.

The songs on Gloria range widely in their sensations, and the familiar tropes of black metal play only one role in the musical amalgams. Depending on where you are in the track list (as I wrote then):

“The songs race and they stagger. They slash and they swirl. They brandish a feral, devilish swagger and they weave powerful dark spells. They’re menacing and dismal, cunning and cruel, and they elevate like witches around a bonfire. The riffing is captivating, and the keyboards and electronica are adroitly used. I’m not adept enough to know if the drumming is live or programmed, but their visceral punch, augmented by a heavyweight bass, is magnetic”.

Little wonder, then, that I got excited to discover that Mondocane would be releasing a new EP today. Entitled Enigmata | The Eminent, it includes three new songs (Enigmata), and as a bonus it also includes three songs (The Eminent) first released in 2000 by a band named Goatworship in which Mondocane‘s creator performed drums and keyboards (the band also included two members of Sarcasm). What we have for you today to help spread the word about this split release is the premiere of one of Mondocane‘s new songs, “Hammaren och skäran“.

The song’s introduction seizes attention immediately, and immediately creates an intertwining of different moods. The riffing of the rhythm guitar is feral and cruel, abrasive and cold, grim and hostile. Mondocane pairs that with a high swirling melody that seems to wail and plead, channeling downfall and despair — but it really gets its hooks in your head.

The appeal of that opening is vital to the song, because it becomes the dominant pattern of the entire track, cycling over and over again so that it even more powerfully captivates the listener as it goes. Of course, there are other ingredients that come into play — gunshot snare strikes that operate like a metronome, rumbling double-bass kicks, and vicious growls and snarls whose serrated sounds conjure visions of madness and fangs.

There comes a point when the riffing changes, and seems more frenzied and frantic, driving the emotional quality of the music even further into disturbing derangement before Mondocane returns to the song’s dominant pattern. But there’s no relent in the song’s hard-charging drivetrain — it keeps the pulse pounding straight through.

The new record’s other two new songs are equally formidable in their ability to seize attention and root themselves in the listener’s head, crafting different moods, albeit still dark ones. “Enigmata” creates sensations of mystery and peril around truly frightening vocals, again propelled by rhythms that get muscles twitching, while “Witness I” is blood-freezing in its feelings of oppression and agony, but sounds vast and unearthly as well (and at the end it uses synths to move through a portal into a truly nightmarish dimension).

As noted at the outset, Enigmata | The Eminent is scheduled for release today, and you can order it via the first link below.



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