Farer sound stunning on their newly available debut full-length album, Monad.
The Dutch trio performs a psychologically caustic, richly immersive slab of drone-ified doom that apparently hinges on two bass players and a drummer, with no guitar in the mix. The group extend their powerful songs to substantial lengths — on the four-track Monad, every song clocks in at 12 minutes or above — and the space builds the clouds of heavy psychological power to a dizzying degree. Stepping into the world of the band’s songs via hitting play feels like getting swept to a space where time itself bends and bleeds, with extended meditations on similar notes and rhythms that deliver outpourings of subtly reality-disassembling mania, like a revelry of searing tension.
On opening track “Phanes,” drums kick into gear around the three-minute mark, and the song launches into reeling heaviness at the about six-and-a-half minute point, with other shifts in the palette of sound soon emerging. No matter the swings in dynamics across the music, Farer essentially never break the current of tension that underlies the record. Ominously cloudy, psychologically weighty tones course through Monad, and the group provides more of a broad blanket of tension than a flurry of piercing, shrill tones. Much of Monad features a mournful, glacial tempo, which helps drive in the atmospheric feeling of inescapable despair; the slower pace provides a space for some real human perspective within the music. The music itself features a startling level of tension, thus turning this personable, accessible perspective into a portrait of metaphysical ache.
“Asulon,” the second track on Monad, builds up to an intense frenzy before gradually settling into more trodding, skin-permeating doom. “Moros,” the album’s third track, begins with an extended, somber rhythm before kicking into gut-rattling, cacophonous territory, with brisker performances. The sound feels rather majestic, as even in the more intense segments, Farer maintain an air of close control of their music. The broad, weighty rhythms feel quite powerfully fine-tuned, and the feelings of certainty and even stability that these attention-demanding progressions provide within Monad expand the underlying tension quite powerfully. The orderly presentation of the monumental unease makes the music’s impression feel truly inescapable.
The album consistently feels crushingly heavy and gruelingly, methodically slow, leaving the core simmering tension on a bright, undeniable display. Monad feels like getting trapped within a repeating moment of soul-rending tension that plays on repeat for the record’s runtime.