Monarch - Sabbracadaver review



Reviewer:
8.0

13 users:
7.54
Band: Monarch
Album: Sabbracadaver
Release date: July 2014


01. Pentarammes
02. Louves
03. Mortes


Drone. What is it exactly that attracts fans so to the gargantuan walls of sound and 20 minute notes that lurk deep within the subterranean caverns of this style? I mean, it's not as if it's accomplished songwriting, right? Any schmuck spending 5 minutes on a guitar could just strum the same note for a half hour. Well, if you're of this sort of mentality, you might as well stop reading. We're about to enter the realm of hooded robes and black monoliths, and your opinions have no validity here.

Are they gone now? Ok.

The Frenchy trio that is Monarch are no newcomers to the scenes of drone and dark ambient. Having been around now for over a decade, they have honed their skills in the art of sonic sculpting carefully, and Sabbracadaver, their seventh full length, is only testament to this. Although sticking to more or less the same general model the band always has, Monarch's latest effort also feels somewhat different. Granted, the music is still drone of course, but it seems a tad brighter, less along the lines of haunting Sunn O))) worship and more guided by a tight sense of rhythm and melody than by an ominous cloak of feedback. Opener "Pentarammes" does indeed feel somewhat more structured than is typical for Monarch, with its ending especially bearing more of a likeness to traditional doom riffs than to drone.

But what about those vocals, those ever-so-satisfying vocals? Monarch are yet another band you can (if you haven't already) put down on that ever expanding "Female Doomsters" list. Conjuring thoughts of Bloody Panda's Yoshiko O'Hara, yet still with a sound all her own, vocalist Emilie Bresson weaves shrieks delicately with more relaxed, clean vocals that sound something like operatic whispers. Each delivery is carefully mixed slightly below the music, which works excellently towards giving off a vibe of the vocals being enveloped in this sort of dark veil that the instruments are producing. You need look no farther than the middle of "Louves" to see how skilled this (cute!) lady is with her pipes.

Furthermore, Sabbracadaver stands as a fairly high mark in the chapter of Monarch's gloomy, monotonous saga. While deviating slightly from techniques the band has employed before, but not overly so, the album confronts the familiar/new dichotomy with force, in turn creating something that, while not overly original, is still (for them) relatively fresh. If you're a fan of drone, dark ambient, or especially the sort which employs vocals, you'd be wise not to overlook this one.

Give it a sho)))t.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 12.09.2014 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments

Comments: 13   Visited by: 110 users
12.09.2014 - 14:09
boo-boo
Exactly hte kind of mental torment I love, thanks a lot for the recommendation!!!
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World won't end today - it's already tomorrow in Australia.
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12.09.2014 - 15:39
Tiago Rocha
Dark Lighthouse
Can someone finally update the band's name to Monarch! please?
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12.09.2014 - 15:42
Ilham
Giant robot
Written by Tiago Rocha on 12.09.2014 at 15:39

Can someone finally update the band's name to Monarch! please?

Ah. I actually was wondering about that the other day. I thought they just dropped the "!".

Also, when I saw them in 2008 or 2009 the girl wasn't there I think. Weird. Anyway, I might listen to this one just to see how they evolved.
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12.09.2014 - 15:49
Tiago Rocha
Dark Lighthouse
No, the ''!'' was always there about the album, It's recomendable either if you're both a straight drone fan or a ''doomy drone'' fan too.
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12.09.2014 - 16:06
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Tiago Rocha on 12.09.2014 at 15:49

No, the ''!'' was always there about the album, It's recomendable either if you're both a straight drone fan or a ''doomy drone'' fan too.

Very curious. I had seen it done that way in several places before actually and was wondering which was correct. Thanks for clarifying. And yes, great band from the Gaulish land!
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Go tell that long tongue liar
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
You tell em that God's gonna cut em down
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12.09.2014 - 16:18
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Ilham on 12.09.2014 at 15:42

Anyway, I might listen to this one just to see how they evolved.



----
Go tell that long tongue liar
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
You tell em that God's gonna cut em down
Loading...
29.12.2014 - 10:01
Angel N.
Evil Butterfly
I haven't heard anything from them, this is the first one I checked out by them, read something on them before in another zine, it was quite motivating but since I'm not a big fan for doom drone then didn't bother for it till now when M C mentioned them in another thread, so anyway, the vocalist sounds seriously the best part of band, she has something very particular in her yells and also the genuinely-done cleans on that solid musicianship going on in the background, a lot more alluring than all the other bands I have given them a chance in this genre.

Edit: Oh I have heard some songs by them to add them in my list but it seems that I totally forgot about them after that
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The Fangirl.
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29.12.2014 - 16:44
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Angel N. on 29.12.2014 at 10:01

The vocalist sounds seriously the best part of band, she has something very particular in her yells and also the genuinely-done cleans on that solid musicianship going on in the background, a lot more alluring than all the other bands I have given them a chance in this genre.

She is indeed probably the selling point of the band, I'd suggest then that you check out Bloody Panda and Undersmile as well, more drone with female vocalists (Undersmile has two, actually).
----
Go tell that long tongue liar
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
You tell em that God's gonna cut em down
Loading...
29.12.2014 - 20:38
Angel N.
Evil Butterfly
Written by Apothecary on 29.12.2014 at 16:44

I'd suggest then that you check out Bloody Panda and Undersmile as well, more drone with female vocalists (Undersmile has two, actually).

I already checked out both of them, Monarch is definitely superior to both of them.
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The Fangirl.
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29.12.2014 - 21:10
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Angel N. on 29.12.2014 at 20:38

I already checked out both of them, Monarch is definitely superior to both of them.

You really think so? Hmm, cool how our tastes differ then, I actually prefer Undersmile and Bloody Panda to them (not saying Monarch isn't still great though). Totally excited to see Undersmile at Roadburn too
----
Go tell that long tongue liar
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
You tell em that God's gonna cut em down
Loading...
29.12.2014 - 21:12
Angel N.
Evil Butterfly
Written by Apothecary on 29.12.2014 at 21:10

You really think so? Hmm, cool how our tastes differ then, I actually prefer Undersmile and Bloody Panda to them (not saying Monarch isn't still great though). Totally excited to see Undersmile at Roadburn too

Yeah I do think so. Somehow I think that Monarch is more touching than them, it's more emotive to me so I like it more.

I'm badly jealous.
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The Fangirl.
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23.07.2020 - 11:01
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Listening to this for the first time and damn those screams are something else
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- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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23.07.2020 - 15:57
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by RaduP on 23.07.2020 at 11:01

Listening to this for the first time and damn those screams are something else

Émilie Bresson is indeed one of my favorite female doom vocalists, she's quite amazing in her best moments. I do think that Yoshiko O'hara and the Undersmile girls slightly edge her out, though. Dunno. Might depend on the day
----
Go tell that long tongue liar
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
You tell em that God's gonna cut em down
Loading...

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