Hailing from Norway, Monograf blends post rock with traditional folk music, something I've previously heard black metal bands do. The result is an album that needs to grow on you, needs time to be explored and absorbed completely. But once you take the time to do that, you'll be in love.
The album opens with 'Grails', an elaborate post rock tune featuring a plethora of instruments. In that aspect, the music somewhat reminds me of Wang Wen, in the sense that both bands take their time to narrate and compose brilliant pieces of music. Another band that comes to mind is Sigur Ros, mainly because of the vocal aspects. That's probably another thing that sets Monograf apart from many other bands, the use of voices. Title track 'Nadir' is a song, one that takes you back to ancient times but also fits right on a modern post rock stage.
Yeps, that was a little hint towards our friends from Dunk! festival. In my imagination, I see plenty of post rock bands play on one of those stages because let's face it, Dunk! is that best thing to discover and enjoy this kind of music. But let's be honest, a tune like 'The Golden Calf' with enchant the entire forest with its fiddles, it's emotive atmosphere and it's unique sound. Check out the video below and judge for yourself, if you like. This music is so well composed that it seems to come from a different time, or place.
Between 'The Golden Calf' and closer 'Horde' a short 'Intermission' appears. This song also takes you back to the Norwegian forests and times long gone. But the absolute magnum opus of this excellent album is 'Horde'. Opening with ambient soundscapes, this think slowly evolves into a sonic adventure, second to none. In all, this album is pretty much uncompareable. Nothing comes close to the elaborate palette of Monograf. I'm sure that this release will gain this band a heap of followers and I'm sure it will lift many people's spirits.