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. Continue reading

The Lion’s Daughter & Indian Blanket – A Black Sea (Review)

The Lion's Daughter & Indian SummerI’ve been following The Lion’s Daughter for a while now and enjoyed their previous outings into the world of Blackened Sludge, so when I found out they were collaborating on an album with Folk group Indian Blanket I was intrigued.

I wasn’t sure what to expect upon pressing play, but it wasn’t this. I though it might be good, but this? This is a jaw-droppingly stunning album. In much the same way that Panopticon successfully incorporated bluegrass into Black Metal on their album Kentucky; The Lion’s Daughter and Indian Blanket, against all odds, have managed to successfully incorporate Folk into Sludge. The results are as astounding as they are fantastic.

If only I had heard and reviewed this at the end of 2013 it would probably have topped my end-of-year list I can tell you that now.

The album combines heaviness and softness in equal measure, using the best tools for the job depending on the needs of the song. Regardless of style it’s always dark, always emotionally charged and always tinged with melancholy.

Sludge Metal and acoustic passages; blast beats and strings; raw-throat shouts and delicate crooning; it’s all here. Taking the very, very best bits of bands like Neurosis, Isis, Year Of No Light, Agalloch and Wolves in the Throne Room then combining them with haunting Folk-inspired orchestration and Dax Riggs-style acoustics and vocals; this is a masterpiece of music awaiting discovery by any Metal fan looking for the best in unconventional heavy music.

To the cynical reader this may all smack of hyperbole, but the simple fact is that I absolutely love this album and it really is just that good. Do yourself a favour and get it immediately. 

Absolutely brilliant.