Released: 2013, Sepulchral Productions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Monarque are now back after four years, with their third full-length album ‘Lys Noir’, well I say ‘their’, it should be ‘his’ really seeing as Monarque does most on this album himself. Monarque is already well-known and established in the Québec Black Metal scene, and from this release, it is clear he is back with vengeance.
Opening with a French speech, the music starts immediately followed by the classic black metal vocals, you’d expect to hear from Monarque. Using cold sounds and keyboards mixed with melancholia, this is one creepy album to hear in the dark, especially with some intro’s sounding like they are straight out of a horror film. There is also a softer, moody, yet demonic side to his tracks, which has a very haunting atmospheric feel throughout, with the album also featuring some interesting demonic artwork. He has kept to the classic sounds of 90’s Black Metal and the occult, while paying homage to the early symphonic movement. Track 3. ‘La Quintessence du Mal’ is one of my favourite tracks and one of the strongest due to the vocal changes, guitaring and organ, giving the album a nice twist & breaking up the sound nicely. Track 4. Solitude, which is only 2 ½ minutes intro song, is infact quite beautiful, which was unexpected in the evil and harshness of this album, which sounded great going into track 5. Mes Condoléances, despite having a furious start, still helds the beauty in the atmosphere perfectly. The album then flows really nicely going into the cover of Québec Black Metallers ‘Au Seuil des Ténèbres’; another stand out feature on this album.
This certainly isn’t a predicable album and has some great melodies and guitaring with dark ambient symphonic styles throughout, making this an album for all old skool black metal fans to check out and a great addition to Monarque discography.
Review by Jo Blackened