Described in one review as a “deep black minimalistic, slow, humongous doom monster”, Monarch are not a band for the faint-hearted. Since their 2002 founding in the Basque region of southern France, the band’s concept hasn’t change drastically – in some ways, it’s the slow, persistent hunting-down of a single thread. Guitarist Kaïdine says simply: “The main idea was to play slow and loud as fuck. We were all playing in fast bands so we wanted to play something very different, something new and challenging for us.” The band toured the US last year with fellow Supersonic 2011 artists Wolves in the Throne Room and Village Voice concluded a review of their New York show by saying “a focused, intense performance, utterly lacking the catharsis that’s metal’s usual stock-in-trade”.
You can see that focus in this nicely shot full-length set from Valle de Trápaga-Trapagaran in the Basque region of Spain. Slow, yes, but also strangely uplifting.