Sabbat Noir is the fifth full length of the discography of the French Monarch, insidious specimen interpreter of a sludge drone merciless as few others. The album, consisting of a single track of almost thirty minutes, divided into two equivalent parts in the vinyl version, is a long and painful descent into the underworld, including ultra-low riffs, pachydermic rhythms not devoid of interesting jumps and in the background the almost imperceptible whispers and the most audible and heartbreaking screams of Emily Bresson. As you can guess, here we are not talking about well-defined compositional schemes but almost of a sort of flow that arises spontaneously and unravels slowly and brutally with modalities at the limits of exasperation; all under the banner of a noisiness that is not pure chance but even in the second part shows glimmers of melodic lines despite the fact that the context remains always under the banner of an apocalyptic pace. The reissue of this work in the vinyl and cassette formats by Zanjeer Zani Productions turns out to be very timely, as Sabbat Noir is one of the most significant products released in this area at the beginning of the decade; and it was at the same time a sort of point beyond which Monarch would not have pushed without expiring in the noise as an end in itself, in fact the next three full lengths will see the band open to sounds relatively more accessible (with all due contextualizations) inserting within structures always and in any case abundantly disturbed both guitar parts vaguely more linear and vocal passages sung in the true sense of the term. This path, which has its last stage in 2017’s Never Forever, has seen the transalpine band protagonist of a consistent crescendo that has led them to be one of the most credible European responses to the various Khanate and Sunn O)))), which is not at all negligible.

2010 – Heathen Skulls 2019 – Zanjeer Zani / Necrocosm