Monowelt is a two-member female darkwave band based in Berlin, Germany. Originally hailing from Russia and Poland, Daria and Marta met in Berlin in 2010 and begun working together, later forming the band.

“Ruckschau” is their debut album, consisting of songs written and performed live during the last two years. Recorded with the help of William Maybelline (Lebanon Hanover), mixed by Chris Manolitsis, released in two-colour limited edition vinyl format by Geheimnis Records, “Ruckschau” establishes the band as a very promising act in the modern darkwave scene.

Monowelt use analogue synths, heavy drum machines and distinctive bass-guitar sounds coupled with passionate low-tuned vocals, producing a solid genuine darkwave sound. Both girls provide vocals, while most lyrics are in German but also in English and Russian, making the album more interesting and diverse. Monowelt’s sound could be described as minimal darkwave synth and would appeal to most darkwave, even oldschool gothic rock fans. Lyrically, songs deal with personal emotions and private thoughts.

“Ruckschau” runs about 43 minutes and consists of 9 songs, all well-balanced and properly ordered. In particular: “Ozean”, the album’s starter, very atmospheric and representative of the band’s sound. “Mauer des Schweigens”, my personal favourite, sad melancholic and gradually evolving. “Pustota”, the album’s fast-paced hit, features the girls at their best. “Angst”, featuring soft synths blended with catchy bass-guitar. “Krieg”, slow-paced rythms with expressive double vocal work. “Ohne Abschied”, the album’s swan song, an 8 minute epic of pounding desperation.

Monowelt are very talented and seem to really enjoy making music, but they’ve also taken great care in defining their own artistic style, both musically and visually. Overall, a debut album that shouldn’t be ignored, from a band that probably has a lot to offer in the future.

Review by Stefanos Stavrides