"Future Shock" (Self-released; 2021)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

San Diego's Monarch do nothing but kick metal ass from the beginning to the end of "Future Shock." This album is full or raging tempos, screaming vocals, furious guitar, pounding bass and drums and songs that just race along at breakneck speed. Of course, with song titles like "Blast the Seed," "Shred or Die" and "Collision of Bones" and "Metal Soul," you kind of know what you're in for, right?

 You can hear the influence of legendary bands like Slayer and Judas Priest throughout this recording and the band's energy is undeniable. There's so much going on tracks like "Nuclear Warfare," that it's almost a little overwhelming. It reminds me of something I once heard Lemmy of Motorhead say: "Don't dance to this; you'll fuck yourself up." Things hardly slow down with the exception of the strangely sinister instrumental, "Multiverse."

The rock'n'roll is strong here but the production not so much. The mix is often kind of muddy and I just wish everything were clearer. I know that Monarch is a DIY band and I certainly respect that but I would love to see what they could do with a real budget and a great producer.

Still, "Future Shock" will keep you hooked throughout its nearly 50-minute run time and fans of thrash and similar genres will probably add Monarch to their list of bands to follow in the future.

And, by the way, bonus points for the awesome cover!

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2021 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.