Speak of the Sea

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As if the Basque region didn't have enough problems of a political nature, they must now contend with the threat of sonic terrorism in their own backyards, thanks to homegrown sludge-doom devotees, Monarch! Speak of the Sea was the dour quartet's second "album," and contained just two vinyl-side length musical monstrosities in the curiously named "We Are the Musicmakers" and its somewhat more fittingly named counterpart, "Speak of the Devil, Speak of the Sea." Neither composition delivers nearly as much instant gratification, nor possesses as many distinctive qualities, as the finer moments turned in by Monarch!'s better known inspirations (Earth, Boris, Khanate, etc.), but one might still consider them successes based solely on the group's outrageous commitment to vibrating the Earth's mantle to so much dust and rubble. Funeral sludge enthusiasts could wish for nothing more! Oh, and the reason we brought up vinyl is because Speak of the Sea's original release through Throne Records was indeed pressed up on 666 hand-numbered copies of the hallowed black plastic (the first 166 slabs on red vinyl; the next 500 on black).