MONARCH Sortilege (Heathen Skulls) – Aquarius Records review.
In transit across the Pacific for months now, we had almost given up, but this grim little slab of droned out ritualistic slo-mo sludge finally showed up from Australia. Previously a tour only release from this aQ beloved female fronted French ultradoom horde (now featuring Robert Macmanus from Grey Daturas on drums), Sortilege is a single 11 minute track, and is of course everything we (and you) have come to love about Monarch, sprawling expanses of low end buzz, deep drones, minimal drum pound, blurred downtuned guitarage, but “Sortilege” is something a bit different, with the song never fully exploding into actual churn and crunch, instead, it seems to be Monarch’s take on black ambience, and we have to say it most definitely suits them. The sound atmospheric and haunting, the rumbling buzz of the guitars a thick backdrop for all manner of wordless vocalizing, of warm washed out streaks of feedback, of buried melodies, and constantly shifting textures, not harsh or heavy, but still harrowing and haunting, the eleven minute running time is a bit frustrating, cuz this is the sort of jam you want to keep going and going and going. But otherwise, a seriously dense slab of hypnotic blackened drift, a sonic full moon ritual, corpsepainted and candelit, deep in the forest, in some underground cave, the sounds seeping from beneath the ground, and enveloping the listener like some grim black cloud. Awesome.
Really swank reflective black digipaks, with some super striking photos of frontwoman Emilie, multiple Emilie’s in fact, face painted, dagger in hand, presiding over the ritual, whose soundtrack is captured on Sortilege. Andeeee / Aquarius Records
Monarch – Sortilege is a CD EP that was released to coincide with Monarch’s February – March Japanese / Australian tour, tour dates listed below, Heathen Skulls are proud to announce the release of a brand new Monarch CD EP entitled Sortilege.
Sortilege was recorded during the ‘Sabbat Noir’ sessions in December 2009 in the south of France, it’s one long 13 minute drone, doom, industrial noise track that best resembles the likes of early Throbbing Gristle, Einstürzende Neubauten, Sunn O)) and Wolf Eyes. Sortilege is strictly limited to 500 copies.
Price: Retail price is $12AUD + postage
Postage: With in Australia: $3 per unit / International by Air: $8 per unit
For orders: Please email: email@example.com