Mankind Grief
Monarch

I grabbed the debut full-length album from Barcelona’s Mankind Grief as Lacerated Enemy has released a couple of solid blackened deathcore releases already in 2022 ( Hurakan’s Via Eterna and Downfall of Mankind‘s Vile Birth) and Monarch had a song on it called “LV-426”, so I was hoping for a full-on Alien/Aliens themed album.

Alas, “LV -426” is just an interlude,  and while Monarch is certainly sci-fi and alien based, it’s not all about ‘those‘ aliens, but nasty aliens and cosmic lifeforms in general and all the ooze, slime, and gore that comes with them. But, it’s still a solid blackened deathcore album, even if the blackened/symphonic elements are much more industrial/sci-fi sounding than the more purely orchestral sound used by their peers and label mates.

The deathcore element is a pretty sturdy backbone that’s well done, if hardly game-changing. The production is super clean and clear, it has ample amounts of technical blasting, heaps of thick grooves, and heavy breakdowns along with the standard screams, bellows, and brees vocals of Isaac Trullols Caño. The keyboards and programming, as I mentioned earlier are far less dramatic/movie soundtrack/ theatrical than most of the bands playing this style now. Think a more Fear Factory style of keyboards.

That said, I’m not quite feeling this quite as much as their label mates Downfall of Mankind but right around there with Hurakan. It does have its moments and a couple of tracks caught my ear, namely the pretty vicious standout,  “Dead Sprawl”, lurching  “Monarch” and the more ambitious 6-minute closer “Worldeater”, but for me, the sci-fi atmosphere isn’t quite jiving with the music, though the opening of the aforementioned “Worldeater” does get it right and has a more purely ‘orchestral’ tone as well an impressive appearance from Bonecarver’s Fernando del Villar.

A decent effort and entry into the genre, but I guess I’ll have to keep listening to Xenotheory‘s Dawn of an Eyeless Realm for my Alien-based death metal/deathcore in 2022.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 19th, 2022

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