On their 2020 album, Monument, Belarussian Post-punk band Molchat Doma mixes the dark post-Soviet aesthetic with dream-pop synths to deliver a trance-like sound unlike anything on American charts. Molchat Doma (translated as “Houses are Silent”) is Egor Shkutko (vocals), Pavel Kozlov (bass guitar, synthesizer) and Roman Komogortsev (guitar, synthesizer, drum machine). Since their 2017 self-released debut album, the group has steadily gained traction around ‘doomer’ culture and online music forums. In early 2020 the group signed with Brooklyn-based independent label, Sacred Bones Records, and were then thrust into quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic; as a result, we have Monument.
The lead track is equal parts atmospheric ambience, and beat-driving synths that align the track somewhere between the soundtrack for a meditation, and a new TRON game. “Utonut” roughly translates as “to drown”. With Shkutko’s voice bobbing in-between the over-lapping, pulsating music, this song is the perfect sonic encapsulation of drowning. As the first track to Monument, it sets the album off to a dark, fast-paced, and steadfast tone, and echoes the image of the album cover, a concrete Soviet statue rising out of the ocean, unapologetic and moving for no-one, here to make a statement without any exceptions.
While the band’s lyrics are exclusively in Russian, every track on the album is listed in both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets (like “Утонуть / Utonut'”), suggesting a transition from a local Eastern Europe audience, to a more global outreach. Molchat Doma’s bleak sincerity adds a much needed perspective on the world of music, and revitalize Punk and Emo genres to give it meaning in today’s climate.