EPK – Monarch – Future Shock (2021)
Album Title: Future Shock
Release Date: April 16, 2021
Publicist – Jon Asher – asher[@]ashermediarelations[.]com
For fans of Slayer, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Pantera
“Future Shock hits hard on a lot of levels, there are the riffs, the solos, the speed, the heaviness, the melodies, great memorable lyrics, the dynamic range of our creativity I think was truly expressed, and yet we still managed to sound like ourselves. We all just really look forward to sharing it with everyone.” – Monarch
“I tell you, they could give Megadeth a run for their money in the technically-superior-melodic-thrash stakes!” – Sentinel Daily
“Possibly more guitar-centric than their last album, Future Shock has that racing intensity and metal to the bone determination to win over even the most skeptical people in the underground. March up to the table and give Monarch your full support – as this is high quality thrash with diversity, musicianship, and killer songwriting at the forefront.” – Dead Rhetoric
“No matter if thrash is the creed which you live by or you’re venturing into the frenzied scene for the first time. Monarch will appeal to all who like their heavy metal to sound…well, like heavy metal. Get the muscles warmed up, you’re going to find your neck and arms are about to get a serious workout. Cue fists in the air and heads being banged.” – Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life
“Future Shock is a Thrash entity bearing little flaw in delivery, it succinctly manages to pack in a band’s identity into 47 minutes of relentlessly driven Metal invoking headbanging with every single track. For anyone a fan of the genre or of anything loud and fast this album is a necessity for their library.” – Metal Temple
“I like Monarch, and ‘Future Shock’ is an excellent album, the band are obviously very serious at what they are doing, and yet also have a unique sense of fun, I mean what other band can name the likes of the cartoons Futurama, the Legend of Zelda and Dragon Ball Z, as lyrical influences, and also come up with a character ‘The Whore of the North’ as the protagonist of another song? This hard hitting, yet very melodic, with some great hooks and choruses, the riffs and solos simply fly around your ears. If you’re a fan of the likes of Havok, Warbringer at el, you could do far worse than checking out this exciting foursome. Great stuff.” – The Razor’s Edge
“If there’s a reason to stick with Monarch’s thrashy second album Future Shock, it’s the fantastic chemistry between guitarist/vocalist Matt Smith and guitarist Casey Trask. They split soloing duties down the middle, trading them off with the finesse of a Mustaine/Friedman pairing, while locking in with harmonies on songs like “Khaos Warrior.” The first song alone, “Blast The Seed,” has seven guitar solos in its five minutes, and that’s not an exception, as all ten tracks have a truckload of impressive guitar performances.” – Heavy Music Headquarters
“What a journey, from games worship to outer space to political controversy to whorey warriors, from mesmerizing classical guitar to thrash metal. There are even some synthesized sounding beats thrown in for good measure. ‘Future Shock’ is a true showcase of the range of Monarch’s technical ability. This band is definitely under-appreciated at the moment. There’s too much technique and flair here for them to be flying under the radar. Monarch is perhaps too often written off as pretenders to bigger bands but they aren’t pretending. They are owning their genre.” – Uber Rock
“with Future Shock, Monarch delivers a quality album – ten strong metal tracks – that will be welcomed by fans of thrash, speed, and power.” – The Great Metal Debate
“those who are a bit tired of the usual thrash formula may find “Future Shock” a breath of fresh metal to their ears as the group tries to add some unconventional elements- whether intentional or not- to make themselves heard loud and clear. 4 / 5” – Brutalism
“You’ll find riffs a plenty on this album, so if you ever worried about not having enough memorable or headbangable guitar work you can put your mind at ease.” Cave Dweller Music
“blistering riff action, sick solos, incessant drumming, excellent production, need I go on? 4.1/5” – Deaf Sparrow
“The album deserves to find a place between “Judas Priest” “Iron Maiden” and other
Metal greats.” – Hellfire Magazin
“This album brings us the workings of an old-fashioned Thrash metal album where Matt Smith’s ragged and powerful voice fits like a glove.” – Algoderock
“there’s no shortage of melodies or classic-tinged shredding. In that same vein of musicality, the rhythm section is insanely tight. That ties everything together solidly, allowing for the vocal rasp to play around a bit more, adding a more extreme edge. Make sure to pay special attention to the bass, though. There are some incredible runs thundering through this release, occasionally taking it to the front as a strong feature instrument. While Future Shock drops neatly into the thrash bracket, it is most assuredly at the most metal end of that spectrum. Not in heaviness, but traditional idioms. If that appeals to you, get this one cranked!” – Slow Dragon Music
“Fans of old-school thrash and more recent bands will enjoy this fresh, surprising and successful opus. The compositions are brutal as you wish, heavy and ultra-fast and we never tire of the impressive technique of the four talented musicians. This group deserves to be known and have its place among the greats. The guitar solos are intense, sound like a ton of bricks, and are performed with bewildering efficiency. They must be really interesting in concert… I haven’t taken a thrashy slap like this since the release of Death Angel’s last album, Humanicide, released in 2019.” – Metal Alliance Mag
““Go Forth… Slaughter” is a loud record that is full of twists and turns. Hopefully this release encourages Monarch to do some touring beyond Southern California, because songs like these need more ears.” – SD Metal
“A very colorful cover can also win over many fence-sitting people – and the rawer attention to detail on the production front gives us a clearer picture of what to expect live (a sinister snare snap plus in your face guitar tones duly noted). Go Forth…Slaughter executes in that late 80’s/early 90’s thrash/death platform, where people lost interest in major label veterans straying into commercial waters. Monarch makes it safe for you to trust their music: brutal, aggressive, and all for the love of the genre.” – Dead Rhetoric
“‘a super solid speed metal record.” – Metal Assault (2017 – Review – Go Forth… Slaughter)
L-R – Gabe Mendez (Bass), Adam West (Drums), Matt Smith (Vocals/Guitar), Casey Trask (Guitar)
Photo Credit: Astrid Anaya
Monarch is a heavy metal band from San Diego, consisting of Matt Smith on vocals and guitar (NIHILIST, DAMCYAN), Casey Trask on guitar (THE THREE TREMORS, CAGE), Gabe Mendez on bass (SUPRA SUMMUS), and Adam West on drums. Formed in 2007 by Casey Trask and some buddies in high school, Monarch weaved its web across San Diego, finding the best musicians to keep up with the lightning-fast rhythms, smashing drums, and screaming guitar solos, the standard was hard to keep until the right members were found. Adam West was next to join the band bringing a fearsome ferocity that few have ever seen in a drummer. His all-out style drumming and love of heavy metal was a perfect fit for Monarch’s earlier thrash metal material and has since been refined into a speed metal killing machine. Next to join would be Matt Smith, always revered by the members of Monarch as being one of the most creative and eccentric musicians in San Diego playing with local bands Damcyan and Nihilist, Adam and Casey would go to his shows and stare in awe as he would warm up and soundcheck with Yngwie Malmsteen licks. Matt joined the band around 2016, a year later the band would release their debut album “Go Forth… Slaughter” featuring raw thrash metal with a hint of what was to come, with Matt’s affinity and background in classical music, the sound was bound to evolve in the most epic way imaginable. Last to join, but certainly not least, was Gabe Mendez. The members of Monarch would always enjoy watching Gabe’s band Supra Summus perform in San Diego in which Gabe was the bass player/ lead vocalist and was certainly more than capable of the demanding rhythms of Monarch. In 2020, Monarch recruited this demon beast of a bass player and hasn’t looked back since. Monarch has shared the stage with bands such as Death Angel, Nervosa, Powerglove, Act of Defiance, and in 2019, they won the Wacken Metal Battle in the USA to guarantee a slot at the greatest heavy metal festival in the world, Wacken Open Air. Monarch will release their new album “Future Shock” in the year 2021.
2021 – “Future Shock” – LP
2017 – “Go Forth… Slaughter” – LP
Shared Stage with: Powerglove, Act Of Defiance, Nervosa, Michael Angelo Batio, Death Angel, Hatchet, Exmortus, Nihilist
Festival and Tours:
Wacken Open Air Festival 2019 (Wacken, Germany)
Winners of Wacken Metal Battle USA 2019
XYZ Clothing, ISP Technologies, Liquid Death Mountain Spring Water
1. In 2019, Monarch won a USA nationwide Wacken Metal Battle and earned a slot at one of the biggest heavy metal festivals in the world, Wacken Open Air Festival 2019 in Germany, that year featuring bands such as Slayer, Sabaton, Hammerfall, Prophets of Rage, and many many more.
2. When we went out to Germany to play Wacken, we were in our hotel room testing out our gear. It was one of Matt’s first times performing out in Europe and we all had to use converters and such for our amps and pedals. So Matt plugs something in wrong and it blows the power on the whole floor of the hotel, I don’t think we’ve ever laughed so hard.
3. Before Monarch existed, the other members (not knowing each other yet) would go watch Matt Smith perform with his bands Nihilist and Damcyan and stare in awe at his soundcheck and guitar solo wizardry, knowing not that they would one day be up there alongside him.
4. The drum tracks on “Go Forth… Slaughter” our first album were all recorded live with only Casey and Matt in the room playing guitars that they couldn’t hear, only Adam, to give the real vibe of our live intensity. No click track on the first record. The final track on that album, “Sonic Reaper” was the first and only take Adam did.
Album Title: Future Shock
Release Date: April 16, 2021
1. Blast The Seed (5:16)
2. Khaos Warrior (2:51)
3. Future Shock (5:00)
4. Nuclear Warfare (4:00)
5. Shred or Die! (4:15)
6. Multiverse (3:02)
7. Fatal Vector (6:47)
8. Collision Of Bones (3:45)
9. Swarm Of The Whorenet (6:41)
10. Metal Soul (5:21)
Album Length: 47:04
– All Songs Performed by: Matt Smith, Adam West, Casey Trask, Gabe Mendez, Alex Pickard
– All Songs Written by: Matt Smith, Adam West, Casey Trask, Alex Pickard
Produced, Mixed and Mastered by: Sean Tolley (Clarity Recordings)
– Album Artwork by: Marc Sasso
– ASCAP artists: Matt Smith and Casey Trask
Album Band Lineup:
Matt Smith (Vocals, Guitar)
Casey Trask (Guitar)
Gabe Mendez (Bass)
Alex Pickard (Bass – “Collision of Bones”)
Adam West (Drums)
Live Band Lineup:
Matt Smith (Vocals, Guitar)
Casey Trask (Guitar)
Gabe Mendez (Bass)
Adam West (Drums)
MONARCH – FUTURE SHOCK – Track By Track Explained:
The album as a whole:
It hits hard on a lot of levels, there are the riffs, the solos, the speed, the heaviness, the melodies, great memorable lyrics, the dynamic range of our creativity I think was truly expressed, and yet we still managed to sound like ourselves. We all just really look forward to sharing it with everyone.
Track by track:
1. “Blast the Seed” was written all together in about an hour at a practice one day, structure and everything. It was when the most recent Black Dahlia Murder album came out at the time, I think it was “Nightbringers”, and Adam (Drums) wanted to come up with something with that vibe and I think Matt started it up with the main chorus riff and it grew from there, this one has a unique vibe because it was literally a creation from all of us at the moment and is a really fun one to play live. The lyrics are about blasting seeds of life into space to save a doomed race.
2. “Khaos Warrior” is one of our favorites to play, a bunch of guitar harmonies, melodic riffs switching into brutal thrash rhythms, it’s a quick one but super exciting, the lyrics are about the Dragonball Z “Tournament of Power”. Awesome visuals in the lyrics, this one was written entirely by Matt Smith (Guitar/Vocals)
3. “Future Shock”, the title track, written by Matt Smith is based on the show Futurama, waking up, after being cryogenically frozen, into a future world, This one has one of the catchiest choruses of the album and leans more towards the brutal and thrasher side of the spectrum.
4. “Nuclear Warfare” is about just that, and really slams you with loud thrashing brutal riffs till the end, also written by Matt Smith (as an assignment for a composition course while earning his Associates of Arts in Classical Music degree).
5. “Shred Or Die!” Is our first single and music video from the album, this one has probably been in the Monarch setlist for the longest, this one really hits home nowadays lyrically about civil unrest and power-hungry people ruling over others. The music video has gotten some heat as it features some heavy footage of the riots going on in America during COVID-19 and “Black Lives Matter” protests. But on the lighter side also features skateboarding around local San Diego skate spots.
6. “Multiverse” allows us a glimpse into Matt Smith’s classical guitar playing potential, as the rhythm section backs him up with a heavy chord progression and an insane bass line. It gives the feeling of spinning through the blackness of space with no hope of return. It is also the intro track to our next song…
7. “Fatal Vector”, Another of Matt’s creations, using very disgruntled, brutal, chromatic riffs. This is a very unapologetic, unforgiving track about being on a collision course with fate, death. This one is a nonstop smasher live.
8. “Collision of Bones” was written and recorded by our former bass player (Alex Pickard), (All other tracks either feature Gabe Mendez or Matt Smith on bass guitar), about a near fatal car crash he was involved in. Probably will not be heard live anytime soon out of respect of Alex’s departure from the band. It’s a thrash metal song with a brutal half-time feel 2nd half.
9. “Swarm Of The Whorenet” Another of our more collaborative tracks, this song started off as a fictional universe we created in a saga called “The Whore Of The North”, this is the point in the story that the protagonist (The Whore Of The North) is being pursued by servants of the antagonist, in the form of Warrior Whore Hornets, featured in our cover artwork by Marc Sasso who did work for Dio, Slayer, Judas Priest, and many others. This song is an adventure, varying in rhythm and intensity but a very quirky feel that leads into one of the most exhilarating solo sections of the entire album. And war chant that will make you want to yell along with “WORLD WAR WHORE WAR-WHORING!”
10. “Metal Soul” This one, Matt came to us with this awesome bending guitar harmony (heard in the Intro and throughout the song) that reminded me (Casey) of an old school Japanese cop show or something like that and we really wanted to make something of it. It developed into one of the tracks we are most proud of. The lyrics ended up being about the Legend of Zelda “Master Sword” or the “Sword That Seals The Darkness” and turned into a thrashy/power metal trip. Featuring some of the fastest double bass on the album from Adam West and an epic buildup to a crescendo that will make you yearn for the next record.