Black Monsoon is a powerful trio originating from Utrecht, Netherlands. This particular group possesses a unique ability, which is very rare among the alternative rock scene, especially nowadays when you can stumble upon loads of generic groups who’re trying to mimic renowned acts. Black Monsoon is doing quite the opposite, so instead of aiming for mainstream success by writing mellow rock ballads like the vast majority of bands, the group has decided to walk a road less traveled by going profoundly into the sheer essence of an abrasive underground rock sound. The group previously released a brilliant debut EP record that serves as a perfect overture to their debut, which we’ll talk about today.
Pantomime includes eleven hard-hitting compositions, which are examining the best affinities of underground rock music. Black Monsoon promoted this upcoming material with a series of catchy singles like Jabberwocky, Losing, and Pantomime, which promised loads of entertainment on the full-length. However, Pantomime came out as an even bigger surprise, fully stacked with some rawness, dirtiness, and sheer power. Besides alternative rock, which I solely used as an encompassing genre, Black Monsoon are including even more than meets the eye. You may stumble upon some proto-grunge, grunge, noise rock, indie rock along the way, but still, this band articulates in some very distinctive manner known only to themselves.
The control over all the involved elements is what keeps this group in approximately perfect balance. Black Monsoon levitates from fully energetic segments pervaded with highly distorted guitars to much calmer moments when they’re letting consumers take a well-deserved break. Still, these breaks are short lived and fulfilled with certain sonic delicacies, which will force you to pay closer attention to the marvelous musicianship of the entire group. Perhaps their music mostly floats from grunge to noise rock, but musicians involved in Black Monsoon possess all the tools of the trade to handle chaotic aesthetics of both genres. The band avoids some regular schemes, formulas, maneuvers and implements heart and soul into their profoundly addictive music.
The dualities between guitar harmonies and delicate basslines are illustrating the complex imagery that surrounds Pantomime from scratch to finish. The guitars are bursting with heavy dosages of highly distorted riffages, compelling thematics, composite melodies, and other engaging maneuvers that are defining the direction of the group throughout the album. The stalwart basslines are building another layer of noise through aggressive low-end tones but also contribute generous portions of massiveness to the overall listening experience. Completely stable drumming performance dictates the tempo throughout the entire recording through a series of profoundly controlled rhythmical acrobatics. The constant splashing over the cymbals creates a necessary chaotic atmosphere at particular segments of the songs but also serves to accentuate certain moments when needed. Both male and female vocals are equally present on the recording, and they work out together in harmony. Sometimes they operate separately, but they work the best in singalongs when the band unleashes its full potential.
Pantomime serves as an adequate representative of contemporary alternative rock music. It grasps all the qualities of the beforementioned subgenres of rock music. You’ll notice a resemblance with some prominent heavyweights of the genre such as Pixies, Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Sonic Youth, Gang Of Four, or PJ Harvey, but Black Monsoon articulates in a spectacular, unique, innovative manner. Pantomime comes on white vinyl and compact disc, so head over to their
webshop and treat yourself to this masterpiece. Highly recommended!