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Blind Monarch - What Is Imposed Must Be Endured

Blind Monarch
What Is Imposed Must Be Endured
by Louise Brown at 14 May 2019, 1:28 PM

BLIND MONARCH is a newer Doom Metal band from Sheffield, England. Their album "What Is Imposed Must Be Endured" is their first release so far.

The opening track, "Suffering Breathes My Name," has one of the most low-key intros that I've ever heard, especially for a Metal song. After almost an entire minute had gone by I had to make sure that the song was even playing, that's how low-key I am talking about. Some heavy guitar riffs take over, providing an almost funeral dirge tone to the song. The vocals consist of guttural growls that compliment the dreary backing music quite well. After a point, the track speeds up somewhat as the vocals change to a series of snarls and shrieks. Just when it seems like the song might have more life to it than originally suspected it slows down again, leading to an odd dead space in the middle of it which is followed by more slow, plodding music. If this were an ordinary track with a length of 3 or 4 minutes,  it would be tolerable at the very least. At over 13 minutes the whole thing becomes an exercise in monotony that is best avoided.

Track two, "My Mother, My Cradle, My Tomb," has a slightly better beginning with a down-tuned guitar taking center stage along with a vocal performance that is more Black Metal in nature. At almost 11 minutes, this song is the shortest one on the album… which moves along at the pace of an Ice Age. The slowness of the track is so distracting that I couldn't even focus on it properly. I kept looking at the time to see if it was over yet, which is never a good thing. Again, with a song of normal length the effect may not have as bad. But when the song is already pretty long it is cruel to torture your potential audience by making it so…very…very…very…slow. I listen to Stoner Doom Metal a lot and even those bands seem to understand that you either need to make the song livelier in places, or cut the overall length so that people will want to stick around long enough to hear the entire thing.

Did things improve with tracks three and four, "Blind Monarch," and "Living Altar"? No, unfortunately, they did not. "Blind Monarch" starts out alright with a decent sort of Psychedelic Metal tone as a down-tuned guitar plays by itself with a nice amount of distortion thrown in, giving it an even heavier sound. Even the pace of the song is somewhat faster than the previous two, emphasis on "somewhat." However, the song is over 14 minutes long, and, truth be told, my attention wandered after the first seven minutes. Even the guitar solos towards the end of the track couldn't make it more interesting or compelling, which saddens me a great deal since I normally love guitar solos. At almost 18 minutes in length "Living Altar" starts out like the first track did with a very low-key, nearly inaudible intro. When the song does pick up the pace it is barely noticeable as it seems to drag on and on forever. I can't see any Metal fan with a normal attention span getting any enjoyment out of it because it is simply too long and too slow. Not acceptable at all, not even for Doom Metal.

 I wish I could've found something to like about "What Is Imposed Must Be Endured," but I could not. It's nice the band made the effort, but I think they need to try a little harder next time.

Songwriting: 2
Originality: 2
Memorability: 2
Production: 2

1 Star Rating

  1. Suffering Breathes My Name
  2. My Mother, My Cradle, My Tomb
  3. Blind Monarch
  4. Living Altar

Tom Blythe -  Vocals
Adam Blythe -  Guitars
Paul Hubbard -  Bass
Lee Knights -  Drums

Record Label: Black Bow Records


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