Monarch – Never Forever (Review)

MonarchThis is the eighth album from French doom band Monarch.

There may only be five songs on this release, but don’t let that deceive you – there’s almost 68 minutes of music on Never Forever.

Never Forever is an expansive and textured take on doom/drone, with alluring, emotive sounds that keep you returning to the album over and over again, despite the hefty running length.

This is droning doom with a ritualistic edge, featuring a guitarist from Year of No Light. Rhythmically punishing with repetitive low-end oppression, the music on Never Forever is glacially slow and hypnotically engrossing.

Heavy and crushing, the music is weighty in musical value alone, and that’s before you factor in its emotive edge. This is music that takes its bass-heavy drone and injects a dark, plaintive mood into the proceedings. Atmospherically heavy as well as musically monolithic, the songs are layered with feeling and content, making for a compelling listen that sees the playing time crawl by in the most pleasurable of ways.

The singer’s haunting vocals range from soft crooning to harsh shrieks, with pretty much everything in between. Her vocal performance is atypical for this genre, and is definitely one of the aspects of Never Forever that makes the album so enjoyable.

This album is a hideously impressive release that should find favour with fans of bands such as Khanate, Sunn 0))), Cult of Luna, Pallbearer, and Big | Brave.

Essential for any doom lover.

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