Since the world is about to end, I figured I would get into the spirit and post this — the first Test of the DOOOOMERANG!!! DOOOOOOM is the serious bidniss, as we will learn today.
I used to work in San Francisco. After work, I would get a vegan raw almond milkshake at Cafe Gratitude and then go over to the fantastic Aquarius Records on Valencia Street. I would spend hours in that cool little shop and look through the new releases. Crazy reggae dub records, crazy experimental stuff, crazy field recordings, and some seriously intense metal and psych records.
That’s where I learned of the mighty Sunn O))) and the sonic sitar drive of Lamp of the Universe. I was set hip to Kiss’ prog rock album (produced by none other than Bob Ezrin and featuring additional lyrics by Lou Reed, no less) and I bought my first Jesu records.
I also discovered Monarch.
Monarch are, or were actually, a French drone/dooooooooom band fronted by a young lady named Emilie Bresson. This three (sometimes four)-member unit of unholy sludgemerchants poured out the slow and lumbering death-lurch like so much black sticky hash resin. They released a handful of records — three full-lengths, some EPs, a few platters split between other artists, and a ‘Best Of’ release. It was unusual for such a slowwww and doooomy band to have a female vocalist, but Emilie has seemed to attract quite the following. In their wake, they have spawned several other copycat groups — three skinny guys bringing the lurch-craft and one girl to scream. This is not emo, not scream-o, this is not metal, this barely hinges on music as we understand it. This is utter and complete destruction, but with a happy turtle on its homepage.
If you want to experience full-on Monarch, their MySpace page has some music. Make sure you have a druid perform some sacred rites in your home before you play this music — who knows what foul H.P. Lovecraftian things could be conjured up by the absolute infernal DOOOOOOOOM unleashed by Monarch? Their Dead Men Tell No Tales 2-LP set is a good compilation, and is available from the fine folks at Aquarius or from the great All That’s Heavy.
Most of Monarch’s songs clock in around 20 to 30 minutes each, but here’s Monarch’s “pop” side:
If Neal Martin compares Slayer’s Christ Illusion to a grand bottle of Petrus, then Monarch would be a dirty old boot filled with blood.
Watch out for black holes and be safe out there, kids. Stay tuned next week, when we go back to your regular happy-go-lucky, micro-brew swillin’, granola-munching Test of the Boomerang!