7. Monarch – Never Forever
When you’ve kickstarted your new album with a 15 minute excursion into sludge-infested, doom-addled pastures then you’re probably not too concerned about testing the patience of your fanbase. Of course, when it comes to France’s Monarch, these deliverers of drone had no need to please the masses as their rabid followers lapped up the monumental soundscapes found on Never Forever.
Ethereal yet crushing, the unsettling vocals of Emilie Bresson swirled around sparse yet crushing arrangements, politely foreshadowing armageddon before bringing the hammer down with well timed blows of aggression.
Uniquely unsettling and threatening violence at every turn, without once having to resort to cliche or familiar methods, funeral doom was the ultimate selling point here but this album never once prescribed to simplified box ticking.