It has always seemed magical to me how music can serve as a canvas for us to project the images that this soundtrack creates for us through the different ways in which we perceive it. Adding to that note that some bands also have a special gift to “lead you by the hand” during this narration, the experience can be wonderful.
That’s the case with Russian DIY band BIRTH OF THE MONOLITH bringing a third example of it in an EP format. Passio continues on the path of post metal incorporating elements of post-black and especially sludge. Latin language translates the title as passion, but also suffering. And this last sensation will be the link between the three tracks that form this release.
“Femme blanche dans la chamber noire” has a slightly different approach to what we have heard in previous albums. It is not as active or fast instrumentally. They have focused on creating a great atmosphere of anger and sadness to give voice to Blanche Monnier (19th century) who was locked up in a room by her own mother for twenty-five years to prevent her relationship with a poor flourish. And indeed, it is the kind of aura that the story requires.
Creating a state of tension and alertness at the stroke of old sludge “Haxprocessen” begins. It is 1669 and hysteria has reached Mora, Sweden. With a more groovy and frenetic dynamic, they talk about how some people stated to have been seduced by old witches to worship the devil. The Mora witches trial ended with the murder of more than seventy women and fifteen minors.
With “Tomino no Jigoku”, or Tomino’s hell, they continue in the same wave as their previous work, Cult (EP, 2018). It is about a poem that, according to legend in Japan, can bring death or misfortune to whoever reads it aloud.
You can hear the guitars of Vitaliy Mosin and Anton Semyonov speak to each other and play with intensity, giving way to Ivan Fimbul’s voice, who seems to have given his technique a good turn, adding different depths to it and incorporating punctually, and in a very successful way, other types of growls.
I’m still delighted with the sound of Dmitry Novoselov‘s drums, especially the snare, and the fact that his compositions are always clean and not so typical. But perhaps the one thing I have missed the most has been Artur Eichwald‘s bass, solely because his role this time focuses more on being part of the bulk that makes up the atmosphere, which doesn´t mean that his contributions are worse or less complex at all.
Both the sound and the generality of Passio show an evolution and improvement, reinforcing that signature sound that they have already achieved with only nine songs published since their career began in 2017. With such good material it is inevitable to mention once again that it is too short. For good and for bad. It would be nice if one day they surprise us with an LP. And if they don’t, let’s wish they don’t make us wait too long for the next round.