Monarch! - Mer Morte
Conservatives may think that the French surrender too early in wars and care just a little too much about their poor and the arts instead of the Free Market, but France's Monarch! are the latest impressive slab of creation from that insanely soulful soil. "Mer Morte" is a slab of dense metallic grit to jumpstart even the bloodlust of any Franco-phobic Chickenhawk.
In one continuous 35 minute track, Monarch!, this CD (originally released on vinyl in 2008 on Throne) covers all the touchstones of modern metal, doom, drone and sludge, but do so in such a deliberate, glacial, heavy way, that they manage to find sonic tones and grooves in those styles that at least feel previously unexplored. Certainly not many bands have explored having a petite female with her own line of Tweener clothing. Emile wavers between seductive asides that inject a sexual element into this male-dominated genre, but she acquits herself nicely on the more standard shredded growl. Also refreshing is the copious use of feedback, giving the crawling drone an occasionally creepy and jolting bottom that such a slow-paced attack needs. Bottom of Form
"Mer Morte," song and record, satisfy. Monarch! bring power, a willingness to experiment . HEAVY crusted metal infused with humor and, despite the woman at the helm, a detached Cock Rock swagger. Punishing and overwhelming.
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