Monarch Mer Morte

Originally appearing as a vinyl-only release on Throne Records, this epic slab of slow-moving sludge from France's Monarch cruises along at a snail's pace (by metal standards, anyway). The quartet (whose lead vocalist looks like your kid sister, yet shrieks like a murder victim) barely achieve ten beats per minute throughout the entirety of the single 34-minute track that comprises Mer Morte. So slow it's practically riff-less, this album will appeal to those weed-addled fans of groups like Boris or Sunn 0))). Coincidentally, Monarch also have a brand new LP, Sabbat Noir (an obvious homage to the grandfathers of metal themselves), hot out of the pressing plant. It'll be interesting to compare it to Mer Morte, to see if the group continue to stretch each chord out in an attempt to reach the infinite. (Crucial Blast)