MONARCH (Mer Morte) CD
First 'Mer Morte' has been released as a limited edition LP on the Spanish label Throne Records in 2008, but Crucial Blast Records was kind enough to re-release this heavy chunk on CD in 2010. 'Mer Morte' is MONARCH's fourth album, and anyone who is familiar with this French band will know what to expect here. Massive riffs that move forward in super slow-motion, accompanied by a few strokes and last but not least, the mysterious and enraptured vocals of Emilie Bresson. It should therefore be clear that 'Mer Morte' will only appeal to a minority group. In vain does one seek short songs on this album, because there is only one epic track named 'Mer Morte' and that lasts almost thirty-five minutes. MONARCH's approach is very minimalistic and their music is like a sonic skeleton.
To coin a phrase, if meat and muscles are synonymous with melody and groove, then MONARCH has skeletonized and mutilated the body of rock. All that remains are bare and deformed bones. The only decorations that occurs throughout are waves of pure feedback and, of course, the ghostly voice of Emilie Bresson. Without her vocals, the song would lose intensity and she definitely adds something very surrealistic to the bone-dry riffs. In addition, 'Mer Morte' presents itself as emotionless as possible. And from this point of view, the term 'bleak' is quite appropriate for the song. For me, 'Mer Morte' is best suited for relaxing and has the same effect as a dark and heavy ambient record. I'm not totally convinced, but I have to acknowledge that MONARCH has a certain charm.