Conan - MonnosHaving formed as a two piece back in 2006 and somewhere along the way adding a third, this british trio has spewed forth one album and one split EP thus far. As they gallop into 2012 on their respective war horses with hammers swinging they are set to unleash another skull crunching album, “Monnos”. Like a sword “Monnos” is chopping arms and heads off as it rolls through the countryside but somewhere in this bloody carnage there is an air of dark crunchy wonder.

The search, often long and frustrating, for that perfect downtempo dark crunch can lead anyone to madness except it seems, for Conan. Somewhere on their search for the necronomicon of dark sludge, they found what they needed to write and spew a mountain of a pitch black sound. ‘Hawk As Weapon’ for example has found that perfect balance of fuzz and dark chords linked into a black and eerie beat that illustrates the talent each of these three warriors brings to the table. Layered in are the battle cry vocals and with that the war party is complete. It is doom synchronization at its best.

Even a slight increase in the pace in ‘Battle in the Swamp’ does not detract from the war for audio domination. Things are so well placed musically that a slight increase in tempo opens another door for listeners to peer into the darkness and rejoice in its bleakness. The one particular aspect that really stands out on these first two track as well as the rest are the vocal execution. Literally the perfect execution of war like emotion, no screams, no growls, just that perfect pitch that locks in all the pieces of the puzzle. The search for that elusive, yet perfect, combination of thick and choking music accompanied by the vocalization of the warcry has landed squarely on Conan.

Beauty in what is apparently simple, albeit putrefied beauty, is the best description I could come up with for ‘Golden Axe’. A black slice of sludge, maybe its finest, maybe not, all that can be said is that this slice is down and heavy hell spawned goodness.

Conan have raged out of the nest of Cthulhu and the other old ones, full of metal vengeance. Their brilliant execution of the battle plan that is “Monnos” is a testament to the goodness that can be found among the deepest and heaviest soundscapes of the universe. One word of warning, the faint hearted need not apply here, this is boulder after boulder, crunch after crunch, pound after pound pure doom metal at the greatest of heights. If you are a fellow warrior of the doom then this is a must listen and must buy if for nothing else than fear that Conan will find you and subject you to backwoods doom justice. Brilliant!

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