May 06 – MONARCH (San Diego Thrash act) “Blast The Seed” In Shred Fest Guitar Playthrough / New Album Out Now !

L-R – Gabe Mendez (Bass), Adam West (Drums), Matt Smith (Vocals/Guitar), Casey Trask (Guitar)
Photo Credit: Astrid Anaya

San Diego’s MONARCH unleashed their sophomore album “Future Shock” this past April. Compared to their first, very DIY album, 2017’s “Go Forth… Slaughter”, MONARCH’s next escapade “Future Shock” was done professionally at Clarity Recordings in El Cajon, California, and is a big step forward for the band both musically and sonically. The album hits hard on a lot of levels, there is speed, heaviness, melodies, great memorable lyrics along with riffs and solos. 

And speaking of riffs and solos, today, the band’s guitarists Casey Trask and Matt Smith share their shredding skills with their new guitar playthrough for the track “Blast The Seed”.

The guitarists add: “Blast The Seed’ is one of my favorite songs to play for sure, it has some techniques that I really enjoy hearing in other people’s playing. My first solo starts with a big ascending blues lick, then messes with some different minor modes. When I was coming up with these solos I tried to emulate a sort of progression that seemed like it was taking flight and blasting off at the end. My solo in the middle uses some quick legato peppered with some Palm muted staccato. I also used a cool bend technique I’ve always been a fan of where you pick and bend the E string up while bending the B string up as well with the same finger, then picking and releasing the bend on the B string, so I played around with that feeling a bit. I love the quick pentatonic work of Zakk Wylde and Richie Faulkner and you’ll hear some of that in this solo as well. For my final solo towards the end, I just thought it would be cool to let the solo branch off from the chorus riff in an organic way so the first lick in the solo actually starts off with the pull-off of the chorus riff. This one has some diminished runs going into some climactic dyads before blasting up to the 22nd fret for some speed picking down the minor scale. The last fast bit running up the neck brought out the Alexi Laiho influence in me for sure.” – Casey Trask.

“‘Blast The Seed’ – Intro, Ultimate Battle Intro Number One cameo. Then the first riff is classic battle style 333322. Solo one, D blues with some nasty arpeggios at the end to tag off into Casey’s solo, key change a 5th. Then the main theme riff, blast-off ejecting classic descending melody riff with a cool lil’ harmony 5ths break at the end into the verse. Ride the D on the verse then bust the 3rds. Prechorus style harmonic minor riff with pedal 5ths. Chorus, just ejecting the D minor in the face before a screamer solo. Repeat everything for round 2. Back to the classic battle riff 333322 to prepare for launch into the solos. The first solo’s in A then Casey takes 2 over D then A. Then I clean up with some Yngwie sweeps in D before the heavy development. Big breaks, crazy drums fills, then to the dungeon bridge riff. More 333322 theme with the chords descending underneath and some rad 5th and 4th harmony action. Final chorus into the blast-off solo, my favorite riff, taking the verse melody and playing the chorus chords underneath. Into to final main theme with quad harmonies for the money shot. Seeds successfully blasted throughout the void between your ears.” – Matt Smith

You can watch the playthrough via its premiere on TechnicalMusicReview HERE

Recommended for fans of Exodus, Slayer, and Testament, MONARCH’s “Future Shock” is available at the following links: (CD, Vinyl) –  /  Spotify

Music Videos: “Nuclear Warfare” – 
“Shred or Die!” – 

Live video at Wacken 2019:
Khaos Warrior – 
Full Wacken Set – 

Track Listing Future Shock: 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 

“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

“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.” –