Monday, February 13, 2012

Monarch! - 2007 Dead Men Tell No Tales

Band : Monarch!
Album : Dead Men Tell No Tales
Release Year : 2007
Genre : Sludge | Doom | Drone

Tracklist :
01 We are the Musicmakers (Long Version)
02 Speak of the Devil, Speak of the Sea (Long Version)
03 Dead Men Tell no Tales (Spoken Version)

01 Winter Bride
02 Swan Song

Monarch has been my second experience with Crucial Blast (coming a few months after my initial review of Microwaves' "Contagion Heuristic" album), a label that is known primarily today for their investment in the world of sludge/drone doom and rock, as well as various other experimental types of bands in a somewhat psychadelic phase of evolution.  Monarch follows along this droning, ever so muddy path, utilizing feedback to the best of their abilities much like the wonderful Boris, but, unfortunately for them, somewhat less tastefully.  You see, Sludge doom is now taking on the identity that black metal held last year in the few years prior:  Imminent stationary filth.

It is rather unfortunate that the few bands with an immense amount of talent are being undermined by project such as this one, copycat artists claiming that theirs is unique and superior.  Bands like Boris, Pelican, Isis, forerunners of the genre have at the very least gotten the recognition they deserve before these bands take over and completely overwhelm the scene.  Black metal did not have such luck.  Those whom were noteworthy in the beginning were around only for a short time before disappearing into the timeless ages and innumerable amounts of releases and demos.

Dead Men Tell no Tales is by no means bad.  It is not terrible in any sense of the word.  In fact, I rather enjoyed the release as a whole.  Both CD's were magnificently well-constructed and the musicianship found within was top notch, although the "long versions" were, in fact, a bit TOO long.  Around the 17 minute mark of "We are the Musicmakers", I found myself wondering if the song would ever end, let alone the album.  So much of the music on here sounds exactly the minute after another of crushing riffs and drum accents.  There is nothing unique stylish passages, no feedback experimentation, nothing that sticks out and shows off beauty like one would assume from an album cover like that found on Dead Men Tell no Tales.  Even though the "Spoken Version" of Dead Men Tell no Tales does not, in fact, have anything spoken in it, I must say that the best part of this CD was the silence and the waves.  Soothing after over 40 minutes of seemingly the same crushing riffs paralleled to one another.  Sadly, the second disc is more of the same, but much more tolerable due to the well-placed vocals that resemble those found on Khanate releases, which is a now defunct Stephen O'Malley project.  Basically, if you're a hardcore sludge fan or a stoner looking for a good listen while you trip out under the stars, this is for you...For the rest of you though, this is probably a nice migraine inducer.  Leave the sludge and drone to the masters...-heathenharvest

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