Jeremy Irons & The Ratgang Malibus was a long and strange name for a Swedish stoner rock/heavy psych group, no relation to the actual Jeremy Irons. I’m surprised it flew in the world of 70’s inspired rock for as long as it did, considering the inside joke + celebrity name convention is largely confined to powerviolence, grindcore and midwest emo. But hey, whats in a name (Grizzly… butts?) really, the important changes made in JIRM’s sound on their fourth full-length are far more worthy of discussion. They’ve retained that deceptively sunny stoner rockin’ disposition but a layer of Floydian gloom and 70’s metal grandeur seep through, as if the sleepiness of Graveyard‘s ‘Hisingen Blues’ dipped into Night Sun‘s ‘Mourning’ and kept a smile in their face on the way out. ‘Surge Ex Monumentis’ is a huge 65 minute opus and the first record from the band that I’ve been interested in enough to listen beyond first impressions.
Because I’d basically skipped over ‘Spirit Knife’ this album represents a huge leap in concept and musicianship. Where JIRM shines brightest on ‘Surge Ex Monumentis’ are the extended atmospheric songs like “Dig” and “Isle of Solitude” that take so long to build themselves up that their brief peaks are more impactful when they hit. The more I listened to the record I lost interest in most of it, though, as from “The Cultist” through “Giza” I felt the material was a bit sleepy for casual listening. So, for my proto-doom/hard rock leaning taste, the strength of the album rests in the opener “Candle Eyes” and it’s distantly rocking atmospheric sound as well as the soulful 11 minute closer “Tombs Arise”. Those two track back-to-back are an epic combination that highlighted successive spins for me.
JIRM have found a strong median between 70’s prog rock, stoner metal and modern rock instrumentation that feels both distantly stoned and freshly modern. It is as cinematic as it is engaging yet ‘Surge Ex Monumentis’ shyly rocks out a third of it’s total length to great effect. Well anyway, I think if you liked ‘Spirit Knife’ this has enough of that same atmosphere to sound related while it takes most aspects to a higher level. Hotly recommended to stoner rock fans who are looking for extended chill-‘n-groove alongside some epic proto-metallic jamming.
|Released||March 16, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp!||Follow JIRM on Facebook|
When the night is closing. 3.25/5.0
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