Sunday 10 December 2023

MONTE PALOMAR ~ NADIR ..... review

Today Desert Psychlist find ourselves once again waxing lyrical on the charms of a South American outfit, this one hailing from Rosario, Argentina and sporting the name Monte Palomar. Desert Psychlist has to admit that the band, Sasa Fontana (vocals); Eric Flägel (drums/percussion); Leonardo Salani (bass); Alejandro González (guitars) and Pablo González (guitars), are completely new to us and up until pushing play on their new album "Nadir" had no idea they actually existed, we do now though.

Title track "Nadir" is first out of the box, a scintillating and engaging tome rooted in doom and heavy psych but boasting Middle Eastern/Moorish overtones, those overtones becoming even more pronounced in the songs middle section courtesy of singer Fontana's wordless wails and drummer Flagel's eastern flavoured percussion. "Tundra" follows its mid-tempo heavy psych/stoner groove moody and atmospheric, Fontana's vocals alternate here between a low-key croon and a soaring bluesy holler and are enhanced by the combined droning textures of Alejandro and Pablo González's guitar tones which in turn are anchored to earth by Salani's low booming bass and Flagel's tight busy drumming. "Las Formas del Aire" sees Monte Palomar easing back on the gas and jamming a slightly more lysergic groove around an easy on the ear lilting vocal and is followed by "El Mar" a song that follows a similar blueprint to its predecessor but adds into the mix a little gnarly spiciness. Things get bluesy on next track "En Llamas" a slow building opus featuring some scorching guitar work and an exceptional vocal from Fontana. We remain in blues territory for the wonderful "Penumbra" only this time we are treated to blues tinted with shades of old school doom that, apart from a galloping middle section, boasts an achingly emotive dynamic. The band close things out with "Caudal" an undulating slice of psychedelic doom as good as anything being put out by their Northern Hemisphere contemporaries, thick reverberating guitar tones and thunderous rhythms supporting a voice that could sing the phone book and still sound seductive.

Frustratingly Monte Palomar's "Nadir" will probably not get the international plaudits its stunning blend of doom and heavy psych deserves simply because its Spanish vocals are likely limit its appeal to those who speak the language and those non-Spanish speakers who can enjoy a vocal for its feel and not necessarily its content, which is a shame because this album rocks BIG TIME!

© 2023 Frazer Jones

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