Monarchy is a type of government which no longer exists in any practical form in any major countries. There are, however, many monarchies kicking about, like England, Belgium, Norway and Spain.

Monarchies are ruled in theory by a King or a Queen, or by both. The position of monarch is hereditory according to really complicated rules depending on whose country it's in.

Monarchies tend to actually be governed by democratic means, like England for example.

Despite the common perception that monarchy is a thing of the past, and all remaining kings and assorted other nobility mere figureheads, there's a fairly large number of states still governed through monarchy, and in a surprising number of them, the monarch's power is still legally or effectively very close to absolute.

Here's a short list of countries which either have no written constitution, do not provide for a legislature in their constitutions, or where the ruler retains enough power over the legislature that he's far from a figurehead:

There's also a somewhat larger number of true constitutional monarchies, such as:

Taken altogether, that's a fairly substantial portion of the world's population, land area, and resources.

/msg me with additions or corrections to these lists.

Monarchies often derive their power from the Divine Right Of Kings.

This led to problems when ruling a country that wasn't doing too well. If God says who should be the monarch, then why is the country failing under this monarch?

In many modern monarchies the government holds all the power (pretty much) and the monarch is there mainly for sentimental/constitutional value (and to save a huge rewrite/rethink of the constitution). This is the case in Great Britain. The monarch can do very little as far as running the country is concerned. Theoretically, the Queen can do many things such as call a war but these powers have now been handed down to the Prime Minister and Parliament. These powers are called Royal Prerogative powers.
don't know whether this is the name elsewhere

Album: Monarchy
Artist: Rivers of Nihil
Genre: Death Metal, Technical Death Metal
Release Date: August 21, 2015
Publisher: Metal Blade Records
Runtime: 49:27

Track Listing

              1. Heirless - 2:24                               6. Dehydrate - 4:00        
             2. Perpetual Growth Machine - 4:51  7. Monarchy - 5:43          
           3. Reign of Dreams - 3:16                  8. Terrestria II: Thrive   
               4. Sand Baptism - 4:49                       9. Circles in the Sky - 6:27
            5. Ancestral, I - 4:33                          10. Suntold - 7:23          


Monarchy is an album by Philadelphia, MA Death/Technical Death Metal band Rivers of Nihil, released by Metal Blade Records in August 2015. This is Rivers of Nihil's second full length album, a follow up to 2013's The Conscious Seed of Light, which was pretty positively received and actually gained quite a bit of coverage for what was actually a tech death album. Seed of Light is a good reference point, being the material that most are familiar with of the group, as the band's prior 2 EPs (Temporality Unbound and Hierarchy) were released independently through Bandcamp. Seed of Light was lauded by critics and fans alike for having a strong and fast instrumentation style, a solid meaty tone, an interesting mix in production quality (neither very clear or very muddy), and unusual vocals for a death metal band.

Monarchy's themes are similar to Seed of Light, both discussing nature, a lot of abstract and esoteric concepts. For example, track 3, "Reign of Dreams", explores the concept of dreams and the way that the human mind loses its boundaries when we sleep and enter them. Honestly, the vocals and the lyrics strike me heavily as being a very nice change of pace from what tends to come standard in extreme metal. The band's vocalists provide almost hardcore punk style vocals, preferring a bit more of a barking harsh vocal style that hardcore fans will likely be able to discern easily. As far as lyrics, most death metal bands have either very abstract (The Contortionist, Opeth) or very violent lyrics (Cannibal Corpse, some stuff by Carcass, etc.) and Rivers of Nihil is definitely more towards the former.

Bassist/Vocalist Adam Biggs told Metal Blade during a promo for Monarchy that Seed of Light was meant to start a theme of seasons, being spring to Monarchy's summer. It definitely shows in the lyrics and tone, with slower, more harmonic elements coming into play, bringing forth feelings of attempting to thrive in the world and the introspection that follows once death is no longer at one's heels. The first album, by contrast, had much more of a hardcore edge with faster, shorter songs that represented the struggle of life trying to take root in a harsh world. However, the albums have a couple connections more obvious than theme, with the final and first tracks of the albums essentially sharing a name ("Airless" closing the first/"Heirless" opening the second), and a sequel instrumental to "Terrestria I: Thaw" with "Terrestria II: Thrive". Biggs paints a picture of a world moving through the seasons and shows how they affect life and its will to progress and succeed. The first album focused on growth, but Monarchy speaks much more abstractly, with great emphasis placed on the sun as a source of life and energy as well as the concept of the person and their ties to the physical plane. The ideas of what physicality gives to a person, and whether it's worth keeping, are kept in mind throughout the album, with the closing track setting up the next album (autumn) by suggesting widespread death to come as the sun begins to be eclipsed.

In terms of instrumentation, Rivers of Nihil very much is a technical death band at heart, with each member of the band displaying great skill with their instrument. That said, there is a noticeable lack of guitar solos, a criticism leveled at the first album, despite having two guitarists, Brody Uttley and Jon Topore, who is new since the last album. However, I really enjoy the way that melodic elements that have been introduced, which remind me incredibly of The Contortionist (especially Exoplanet) and even a bit of Opeth and Between the Buried and Me, all of whom combine melodic breaks in juxtaposition to their harder riffs. Styles like this are not simply used for the pure sonic dissonance, but rather as a means to create multiple tones and atmospheres within the individual songs. This then provides the ability to create more overarching tones and themes, the way Rivers of Nihil have done with this album and their prior.

These melodic elements might not be the most technical, but they present a level of craftsmanship that each guitarist very strongly owns in their writing. They set a somber, more melancholy tone, with an almost nihilistic atmosphere towards the end, matching up with the lyrics. The character abandons his search for meaning in the world, accepting that corporeal existence might not have much value him. The melodicism strengthens as the album goes on, with the first few songs being very heavy, and starting to slow after about track 6. Outside of the guitars, which usually rule the show in bands like this, Biggs and even moreso Alan Balamut, the drummer, manage to keep up and even shine through brightly at times. Biggs adds a great amount of meat to the riffs and gives Uttley and Topore more room to play around with the higher register, rather than defaulting to the lowest couple of strings on their 7-strings. Balamut, also new to the band, demonstrates some of the best proficiency with his kit that I've heard in a while. His fills and rolls are excellent bits of flair that keep the tempo up between riffs and his machine gun bass pedals are not too heavily abused, a mistake that all too many drummers make.

All around, the band pulls their performance together even tighter despite trading out two members and bringing in an extra vocalist, adding elements to fix what little was deemed to be wrong with their last release. Personally, I believe this is one of the best Death Metal albums out this year, and definitely worth a listen if you're considering looking into the genre or are an existing fan.

Mon"arch*y (?), n.; pl. Monarchies (#). [F. monarchie, L. monarchia, Gr. . See Monarch.]


A state or government in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands of a monarch.


A system of government in which the chief ruler is a monarch.

In those days he had affected zeal for monarchy. Macaulay.


The territory ruled over by a monarch; a kingdom.

What scourage for perjury Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence. Shak.

Fifth monarchy, a universal monarchy, supposed to be the subject of prophecy in Daniel ii.; the four preceding monarchies being Assyrian, Persian, Grecian, and Roman. See Fifth Monarchy men, under Fifth.


© Webster 1913.

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