Blind Monarch – What Is Imposed Must Be Endured

What Is Imposed Must Be Endured, this is what Blind Monarch tell us with the title of their debut album. After all, this is the ultimate synthesis of doom, which should not be understood as a passive form of resignation, but as an awareness of the inevitable. The Sheffield quartet seems to come straight from the last century, both in terms of approach and image, and this is not a bad thing at all, considering that in this short hour of music, divided into four long tracks, one is left with the vivid feeling of having heard the genre in one of its purest and most uncontaminated forms. The English band certainly takes its cue from the seminal Forest Of Equilibrium by Cathedral (in the central part of the self-titled track there is a progression not dissimilar to that of Ebony Tears), but reworking the lesson by replacing the psychedelic component with a much heavier and full-bodied sludge soul: the result is a rough work, full-bodied and devoid of melodic cues, because if you have to carry on your shoulders the weight of this existence you have to do it without palliatives of any kind. It’s also for this reason that Tom Blyth doesn’t make any concessions in terms of vocals, passing from growl to a bitter scream, doing nothing to appear pleasant, while his brother Adam unleashes rocky riffs, showing however that he knows what he’s doing even when he’s called to weave some solo plot. Only in the last track, Living Altar, there are more rarefied passages with a lot of female vocals, always provided by the Blythe family, decidedly well built and functional to alternate with the more canonical moments made of imperious and monolithic doom. Blind Monarch offer a work of great substance and convincing from the first to the last note: of course, here the sound is intended to evoke only suffering and stoic endurance, so everyone takes his own cross with the prospect of carrying it without the Cyrene of the case can arrive to ease the burden.

2019 – Black Bow Records 2021 – Dry Cough Records / Heavenly Vault