Lo! Monstrorum Historia (Pelagic Records)

Tunes with integrity...what will they think of next?
Release Date: 
21 Apr 2013 - 11:30pm

Sinister piano introduces the listener to As Above, the first track on this rather new and spiffingly good album by Sydney-siders Lo! The tune is trance-like (but not in a techno kind of way) with rising guitars and drums - and the bass is there, throbbing away in the background; it's a doomish instrumental of monumental delight and I'm loving it. Adrian Shapiro's bass is prominent again on Bloody Vultures; it's frantic and it's bloody metal, alright?! Midway through and the instruments drop away. It gets all slow and moody before it's back into the riff again. Glorious stuff. Ghost Promenade is a bit more chaotic with Carl Whitbread's guitars playing out some differing harmonies. I've heard Lo! described as 'sludge inspired metal' but for me it's just FUCKING METAL. And it's good stuff too...

Caruncula has a grooving quality to it, making you want to violently drum your hands on the nearest table-top/small child/kitten and it's got a great bass break. Adrian Griffin on drums lays out some masterful beats and I smell the integrity of this band all over their tunes. It seems that they do what they like and like what they do. And they do it very well too. Come on! Get involved - these guys are bloody good!

After the initial intensity of the first few tracks Haven Beneath Weeping Willows slows things down with a Twin Peaks-esque interlude with reverbed guitar and the promise (threat?) of violence while Fallen Leaves has that beautiful bubbling bass again. I was drifting off in a reverie during one of the quieter moments before being jerked back as the tune picked up speed. It's a perfectly paced album and Jamie Leigh-Smith's vocals fit each song perfectly. Crooked Path: The Strangers Ritual is not so much a tune as a collection of spooky noises and ghostly samples; it's a bit like the inside of my head when Nurse forgets to give me my pills. Beautifully haunting would be an apt description. Lichtenberg Figures has a couple of lines of sing-a-long clean vocals to go with its flat out pace while Bleak Vanity is solid like a lump of granite. I was almost reminded of nu-metal by Palisades Of Fire but Lo! manage to avoid this vibe (thankfully) and the tune becomes an appropriate soundtrack for the invocation of gods and demons alike. Finally it's So Below (Before We Disappear) with sweet riffage and an expert use of subdued sections highlighting the heavier parts. A lovely splash of doomishness to finish what I would call a first class album. You can check these gentlemen out immediately upon their return from their current European tour with Cult of Luna but Monstrorum Historia should keep you entertained in the mean-time.