San Diego thrashers Monarch have entered the ring with their debut album, “Go Forth… Slaughter.” And if slamming beers before jumping into a circle pit sounds like your thing, then this record is for you. Tracks like “Bloody Assault” and “Memories of War” showcase the band’s penchant for Slayer-speed and vicious songwriting. If there’s one thing this album does best, it’s conveying aggression; As if the bloody blotches on the cover and album name weren’t a dead giveaway, “Go Forth… Slaughter” has its foundation built on violence.

      Especially at a time where thrash isn’t nearly as “cool” as it was ten years ago, Monarch has done a killer job crafting a speed metal record that isn’t stale. The North County metal attack delivers technical shred and vibrant percussion that gives the music an engaging pace. “Kill Or Die” features the kind of breakneck pulse and duel soloing reminiscent of early Agent Steel, while the outro of “Beheaded” boasts a breakdown akin to modern Slayer.

      San Diego metalheads will appreciate the personnel involving current and former members of Cage, Nihilist, and Damcyan. However even without that knowledge, the songs demonstrate talent and focus. The album’s title track sees Monarch tackling a seven-minute piece that seems to outdo itself with each time movement. Finally, “Go Forth… Slaughter” outros with the shred-tastic “Sonic Reaper,” where the harmonies feel like they belong as the in-track music for an F-Zero game.

      “Go Forth… Slaughter” is a loud record that is full of twists and turns. Hopefully this release encourages Monarch to do some touring beyond Southern California, because songs like these need more ears.


Available at Standards Records in Vista Village and online: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/monarch6

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