Monarch Exile

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This is an underground, self-released EP/demo that outwardly evokes traits of Infester and the likes of Cianide, thus utilizing a cross between doom metal, death metal and progressive rock. The latter is the greater influence in the structural approach of the album, but the spirit is permeated by the esotericism and medieval-macabre surrealism of classic death metal. The release’s aura resembles these medieval dark mystic paintings in that it would appear as if the music attempts to trespass beyond the rationalizing agency and into the darkness of the unconscious. That said, there is no proper abandonment of the a logic of structure or coherence of expression.

Such a feeling of alienation transports the listener into an opaque world of grim fantasy that seems always submerged in a dream-like brume. It is recordings such as this one which represent a true underground spirit, not in that it is not associated with a label (for that is meaningless nowadays), but in that its free, wild and personal recordings seem to speak from and to the author himself. The work, in other words, is cryptic and hermetic in the full sense of the word —hermetic in that the meanings and the symbols perused here are shown in an outward, opaque presentation to the listener but are disclosed to the author alone.

Monarch’s Exile, however, only presents a brief picture that does not seem to finish unfolding itself and disappears out of sight when one barely steps into it. Half of the content seems introductory or would give one the impression of being a preparation to the actual material. The last two tracks, furthermore, seem slightly out of touch with the main piece of the work, and they seem to constitute more of an afterthought than a meaningful addition to the present work.

We can only hope that the artists behind Monarch will move forth and present a development of these ideas so reminiscent of the mystic expression that Hieronymus Bosch transmitted through painting. There is great potential in the seed ideas that are only barely articulated in Exile, and where one sees limitation and incompleteness, one may also sense dormant forces awaiting the kiss of life.

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