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TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2016
Hotter than butter on toast... but of course only the blackest of toasts and creamiest of butters.
Erik – may I call you Erik? – I need to be frank: I'v been making fun of you. More or less behind your back, and nothing in print (thank god for my soul), but I feel bad that I have been making fun of you and I wish to admit my guilt.

Whenever I had the chance I'd point to a picture of you and imply that you look like the Retarded-Neanderthal offspring of Judy Garland and a Rhinoceros (which actually sounds pretty cool, when you think about it). That, or you look like you occassionally murder people in accordance with the changes in Seasons. I'm just saying.

I attribute the forehead to your rhinoceros upbringing, and your chin to Judy Garland

However, the main reason I apologize to you is for the way I have treated your recent work, Fury and Flames as I believe that I was a bit harsh in my inital review of the album.

I feel as though I didn't do the album justice in giving it a proper review. The review is shit, and I might be stepping out of line by admitting guilt on this, but I felt like it was shit when I handed it in. I just really wanted to do the review, however I was limited. I'm not saying I couldn't have done a better job if I wasn't limited to 350 (I think) words, but it is a factor as to why I didn't write a better review. So I wish to re-review your album. Not that you read the review, or that you'll read this. I don't do this just for you, I do this for both of us; so we can both sleep at night knowing that we are cool. We are, Erik. We're cool. I feel that if I write this all out, you'll be cool to. Maybe that nagging itch in your lower back will go away. I don't know… but I know that it'll go away for me.

Rutan! Haunt my dreams NO MORE!

First off, cover art is tight. I wasn't able to express that in my initial review (again, due to word restrictions and "journalistic intergrity"). Paul Romano is a fucking amazing artist who has the ability to play around with 60's-70's psychedelia (or what you saw on classic rock posters) and mix it with more modern styles. Bottomline: If he paints the album cover, I consider it a good enough reason to buy the album.

For the actual sound of the album, the reason why I wasn't over-the-top praising it (to begin with), was due to many reason. The main one was because I was afraid of looking like a fanatic nerd. I didn’t want my editor to read this and roll her eyes saying, "What the fuck Sam? Why do you waste my time with shit only you like?" But it isn't shit. Because, this shit is fucking brutal. It is an eminently intricate piece of music that has a shot at being one of the better albums of 2008 (in music in general). I know that now. I didn't before.

The second reason for the lack-luster review is due in part to the fact that the album is a layered piece of art -- it takes more than one listen to get an honest feel for it. I wanted I, Monarch -- a monolithic piece of pure adrenaline fused strength. An album that literally had me playing it non stop of an entire day. The album was marked by having Derek Roddy(aka "Better than Jesus on Drums") as drummer, however I was more impressed with the ripping chords progressions you developed. Sounding like a Demon's take on a waltz, the album as a whole is one of the more evil sounds to ever be set to ¾ timing. There was influence from Doom metal: heavy use of a "sludgier" distortion (some would just call that shaky producing, but not me) and the deep, drony bass guitar patterns. There was even influences from old "pagan" world music: the use of tribal drumming, and exotic instruements, as well as the unearthly throat chants.

Pictured: Jesus, Not Pictured: Jesus competently playing the drums

While I, Monarch was well written Death Metal, complete with surprisingly catchy hooks and tighter-than-a-nun's-asshole drumming, Fury and Flames is a much more morbid and dark piece of work that isn’t so much "catchy" as it is haunting. What I, Monarch created, Fury and Flames furthered. What I, Monarch lacked, Fury and Flames gave out by the blood drenched fist full. Sure, Fury and Flames did not contain some of the more Doom, or Sludge Metal style tactics, but this can be attributed to a mild change in style and cleaner production value. The heavily distorted drone of bass was replaced by Alex Webster's (of Cannibal Corpse and Blotted Science) clean, galloping bass lines. Shaune Kelley (a former comrade of yours, I believe), was introduced as a second guitarist, giving the album an overall more refined sound. The guitar parts are still just as flesh-shreddingly sexy (if you're into that kind of thing) but because there were two guitarists, the album came out harder albeit less chaotic than I, Monarch was. One thing I do still stand by in my old review is that:

"Musically, they establish their already extreme sound further with shifting time signatures and dual guitars. The album utilizes an extremely harsh guitar sound; the work is stunningly proficient yet is so austere that it could pass as experimental. There are points where it seems like guitarists Rutan and Shaune Kelley are not even playing guitars. The guitar duo sound like they’re messing with demonic trumpets, or some other form of a heavily distorted horn-instrument. That’s a good thing"

It is. It truly is. The album displays a down right killer rhythm section, culminated in an explosive frenzy of dissonant speed picking and bent-past-their-last-breath chord progessions. And it was all topped off with some of the more "gallant" solos of your career. Shit is tight, dude (fuck me, I just said dude).

So without draining my readers (hopefully you, and you alone) further, I'll end this off here: Fury and Flames is a layered and inspiringly disturbing masterpiece within the world of guitar based music. And I'm sorry for making it seem otherwise. I can now sleep at night knowing that you might know this…

I don't really want to make it sound like I am sucking up to you, although, if Kelly never works out, you can always drop me a line. You may think that you've worked with the bestbut Azagthoth can suck and savor my ballsack.

I'm not saying that I’m a better guitarist. I’m just saying that I wouldn’t mind if Trey Azagthoth of Morbid Angel gave me oral pleasure.

I would willingly have gay sex with this man.


Anyway, to offset my hindered dreams here is the Bringer of Storms off the album Fury and Flames:




I have this album too. Its brutal and intense. Sometimes I cant listen to it for fear of my brain exploding.

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