Writing a standout doom metal album is a difficult task nowadays. This isn't due to an overall lack of quality within the genre's modern progenitors, but because of the antithesis; more and more excellent doom metal albums seem to enter the running for our year ends lists with each passing year. MONARCH! (Monarch from here on out) has never struggled with this endeavor over the course of their 15-year career, particularly when it comes to their recent output with the eminent Profound Lore Records. Yet, while Sabbracadaver was certainly a doom highlight in 2014, Never Forever sees the band returning this year with their most colossal and grandiose album to date, presenting a masterful synthesis of drone metal with doom's more macabre characteristics. We sat down with the band to discuss the process of writing their latest epic, as well as a handful of other topics related to their past, present and future within the shifting landscape of modern doom.
The Curse That Is is a fine example of the art of mixing. Its problem instead is that it doesn't use the impressive chops these guys clearly have, leaving a lot of the album devoid of what makes parts of it so enthralling. The rest of the album, while having its share of great moments, falls somewhat flat when held to the light of "The Ashes Made Her Beautiful". The rest is just that metal overlay alone, with plenty of groove to keep it from being completely dull. If more of the sounds contained within that track, for example, had been allowed to seep into the closing track, for example, something much more interesting would have been created. As it stands, The Curse That Is is a good album but one which tantalizes with its potential without fully delivering on it.
Is it possible for Lycus to be considered doom metal veterans following their sophomore album, Chasms? If their mastery in the craft of creating foreboding yet strikingly beautiful funeral doom is any count, this young band are certainly on track for advanced placement.
I'm dying to go to Maryland Deathfest again. My experience in 2012 was unforgettable. There was much moshing to bands I never thought I'd get to see (Negura Bunget and Ulcerate, to name a few) and spent a rid... Read More...