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Monarch - Never Forever album review

Funeral doom infused with a haunting Gallic wonder

Cover art for Monarch - Never Forever album

Monarch’s spellbinding electrodoom is not for the faint-hearted and here, on their eighth album in as many years, the French quintet take sludge to new dimensions. Never Forever is a haunting work whose long, droning soundscapes curl around Emilie Bresson’s unnerving voice – which switches between ethereal and wildly aggressive. Opener Of Night, With Knives weaves echoing vocals through sparse drums and crunchy, weighty guitars, the palpable malevolence, despite lighter moments, giving the song space to breathe. The serenity lasts for mere seconds and soon the track builds back into towering movements that juxtapose screams against sweetly sorrowful harmonies. Later, Cadaverine swims in gorgeous vocals and funereal progression on its path to finality while Diamant Noir offers a harrowing lesson in beautifully abject misery.