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Monarch Woods
The Ichorite's Plague
December 2017
Released: 2017, Indie
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

Canadian Carnage! Because I am a true patriot, once or twice a year I like to do a quick spotlight and some short reviews on newer, independent, underground Canadian Metal bands. That time is now! Thanks to all of the bands who sent me material for my spotlight. In the spirit of the PMRC, I have chosen a ‘Filthy Fifteen’ (+1!) as some (but not all!) of the bright lights, innovators and leaders of Canadian Metal. Most of them are independent bands releasing their debut album or EP in 2017. Check these bands out, they are the future of Metal! They are (listed alphabetically)…

Abomb (Calgary)

Decatur (Toronto)

Emblem (St. John’s)

Evereal (Mission)

Hammerdrone (Calgary)

Heaven’s Fire (Toronto)

Hounskull (Mississauga)

Ice War (Ottawa)

Maglor (Calgary)

Monarch Woods (London)

Operus (Toronto)

Osyron (Calgary)

Solarus (London)

The Lightbringer (Quebec City)

To The Mountains (Lethbridge)

Votov (Winnipeg)

There is a pretty popular sub-style of Metal that many bands are experimenting with. Some newer bands, like Monarch Woods are taking an aggressive symphonic Power Metal as a base and added more extreme Metal elements, such as harsh vocals. It is inevitable that younger musicians who grew up in the 90’s with a steady and heavy diet of harsh vocals would layer them onto more traditional forms of Metal. Think Nightwish on crack and maybe what Fleshgod Apocalypse is doing these days, that is a hint of what Monarch Woods has to offer.

THE ICHORITE PLAGUE is the bands next release following an EP back in 2015. Is it an EP, is a full-length, who knows…it is seven songs and 30 minutes long so you could go either way. The whole concept of an EP from the early days of recorded music is pretty outdated anyway, so take it for what it is.

They have a cool band name, nice album cover, and what I’d call above average lyrics. The vocals are mostly harsh but there are a real mix of operatic female vocals and quite a lot of spoken word stuff as well. The technical level of musical proficiency is very high. The song-writing is not very conventional either so this busy band has a lot of positive attributes working in their favour. They have cool time and tempo changes, tonal chances but it flows well it is not too harsh adjusting in the song. I really like some of the soloing, especially on the track ‘Heroes Emerge’.

Complex and ambitious, I’m pretty impressed with THE ICHORITE PLAGUE.
Track Listing

1. The Dark Strain
2. Justice for the Fallen
3. Heroes Emerge
4. Enter Bloodroot.
5. Lost Factor
6. Battling the Possessed
7. Loyalties Die


Jay Ivaree Vocals
Brian Scheid Bass
Kylie Gallaher Cello
Darren Venhuizen Drums
Jonah Kay Guitar
Matt Sotnik Keyboards



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