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Monarch – Future Shock Award winner

Future Shock
by Quinten Serna at 05 May 2021, 9:52 PM

Of a force unabated in resolve, MONARCH, strikes quick and strikes fast on all fronts carrying with them a messages of violence and scorn which permeates every track through its core and unto our ears; Future Shock, their latest release, follows the modus operandi of their previous release in focusing in on the raw and primal voicings of the human condition penned in cathartic voices committed to the medium of Thrash.

I will admit without any manner of hesitation that the opening to the album, in specific “Blast The Seed,” took me for a surprise I never would have come to expect from any band as the song begins with a metal rendition of the opening to Super Smash Bros. Melee; the song quickly diverges unto its main theme building until a false refrain before the  vocals adjoin the rhythm—the subtle variances and changes revolving around the main riff keep the song interesting creating a constant sensation of fluidity and growth. “Khaos Warrior” begins in spectacular manner as the strings are dry panned between a chord progression and a repeating lead before harmonizing with one another their shared progression being repeated by the vocal melody in the eventual chorus. “Nuclear Warfare” contains an interesting start-stop dynamic within its opening split between guitars that eventually segues unto the verse progression the off note at the end of each repeating section always wresting the listener’s attention. “Multiverse” marks the halfway point of the album, a quite unique track in and of itself it’s the only instrumental on the album and revolves around an acoustic progression which is mirrored by the rest of the band in rhythm and lead before fading into silence. The final track, “Metal Soul,” begins much slower than most of the other tracks before it, though keeps this drawn out lead as the band joins in within a standard headbanging tempo; the shift in dynamics is sharp and comes out of nowhere continuing until the final note rings out.

The construction of this album as a whole is of an essence fascinating and intimidating captivating one’s notice with ease—from the rhythmic dynamics of the full band in sync to the divisi pairing of the guitars the album exudes an intelligent design paired with its savage sound. The guitars are bitter, visceral, exacting, and—for the most part—clearly defined amongst one another; the bass is a powerhouse of deep-seated aggression commanding the soundscape with every deep laden sound striking with resounding impulse; the drums are a monster as whole and tie the whole of the instrumentation together in forceful anticipation; and lastly, the vocals are a bitter and shrill reminder of the theming behind each track, that of unhindered rage and violence.

Future Shock is a Thrash entity bearing little flaw in delivery, it succinctly manages to pack in a band’s identity into 47 minutes of relentlessly driven Metal invoking headbanging with every single track. For anyone a fan of the genre or of anything loud and fast this album is a necessity for their library.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Blast The Seed
2. Khaos Warrior
3. Future Shock
4. Nuclear Warfare
5. Shred Or Die!
6. Multiverse
7. Fatal Vector
8. Collision Of Bones
9. Swarm Of The Whorenet
10. Metal Soul
Gabe Mendez – Bass
Adam West – Drums
Casey Trask – Guitars
Matt Smith – Guitars and Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 03 February 2023

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