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Limelight: Monomyth

“The fact that we are an instrumental band is what makes us different,” says Monomyth drummer and original member Sander Evers. The Dutch quintet from The Hague formed in 2011 with the sole intention of creating atmospheric music. Aware of their unusual and captivating sound, they began writing songs for their self-titled debut while in search of the perfect musicians for their psychedelic voyage.

The complexities of Monomyth’s spiralling guitar riffs, mellow keyboard and cosmic drumming are no doubt linked to the band’s mythological name. Evers explains: “It comes from a theory by Joseph Campbell which describes the journey of a hero through stages. We try to incorporate this idea in the music by creating a journey, and the underlying theme of our latest album is movement.”

The new album, appropriately named Further, is made up of four elaborate and carefully crafted tracks that emulate a multicoloured trip through space, which ultimately ends when the last track finishes, creating an element of suspense and wonder.

“Every track is linked to this theme. The song_ Ark‑M _is like a vessel, you can travel with it, and the next track, Spheres, is a planetarium. The song Collision is about the Big Bang, the beginning of everything, and the final song, 6EQUJ5, is about the discovery of the first signal from space and our journey towards it.”

In order to achieve an organic feel for the project, the album was recorded at Barn In The Meadow Studio – which stays true to its name, being a large space in a remote location within the Utrecht province.

Not afraid to take on a challenge, Evers explains some of the spatial benefits of recording their second album here: “Rather than using an effect processor, we used the reverb from the room. It was very tricky technically but the result is that what you hear is a completely natural sound.”

Citing Genesis, Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Brian Eno as influences, Monomyth are also big fans of minimalist musician Steve Reich. “Some of our tunes are a bit more prog and others are more minimalist,” Evers explains. “We are not interested in heavy guitar solos or just showcasing our abilities. This is not what we are doing.”

Monomyth’s composing ritual is achieved together, stemming from an idea and then constructed gradually. “When we have something that works, even if the track is not finished yet but it feels good, we take it on stage,” Evers says. “We believe that playing live gives faster results than rehearsing, which can become endless.”

Having spent the year touring Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, the band are hoping to spread their soundtrack of the universe across the UK soon. Get ready to space out, folks!

Isère is an international journalist and Prog magazine contributor since 2014. With over 15 years of experience in print, online and radio journalism, Isère’s feature articles and reviews have been published in music, art, fashion, interior design and travel publications. Having interviewed over a hundred bands since her music journalist career began, Isère has a knack for discovering new talent and projecting emerging artists into the limelight. She specialises in obscure progressive music, occult rock and extreme metal, and in her spare time, Isère is mostly watching live music, visiting art galleries and learning Russian.