The nice thing about black metal is that it’s so hard for it to be co-opted. Between its often extreme ideologies and its inherently abrasive sound, it’s hard to imagine anyone trying to sell you a pair of sneakers with it. Even as some bands like Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth have wormed their way into the mainstream, the vast majority of black metal fans and bands out there are happy to stay in the filthy pits of the underground.
Monarch are an incredibly grim, lumbering doom metal band from Basque country in France. Frontwoman Emilie Bresson is one of those rare female singers in metal that’s at once fierce and raspy, yet identifiably female, creating a haunting, menacing sound that can stand up against the most ragingly macho bands out there.