Saturday, 14 July 2012

Moloch - A Journey To The Vyrdin Tape


This is third Moloch release I've reviewed. The more I listen to this band, the more intrigued I become. Moloch as an entity has been very prolific since the first demo was released in 2004, with a 65-strong discography, according to the band's Metal-Archives page.

This particular releases has been pressed on a few different formats since it was released in 2008. Including the original CD version, featuring the above cover art, as well as various boxed sets and tapes. The tape I was sent is the Asian version from Slava Productions in Thailand. It was a limited pressing of 366 hand numbered copies. Mine is number 10!

Tracklist:-

1. Svartalfaheimr
2. Ljosalfaheimr
3. Asaheimr
4. Jotunheimr
5. Helheimr
6. Vanaheimr   
7. Jotunheimr (Pt. ll)
8. En As I Dype Skogen (Darkthrone cover)   
9. Microcosmos

Opener Svartalfaheimr begins with very anthemic guitar and faint drums. The vocals are high-pitched shrieks, buried amongst the music. They fade in and out of the music and sound very disturbing. It's a brief opening song.

Ljosalfaheimr sounds more downbeat in it's delivery. The same high-pitched vocals remain but the riffs are slower and more drone inspired. The vocals here sound very maddening. The way they are layered as well makes them sound even more hellish.
The production and sound on the cassette also helps to increase the atmosphere, with a subtle hissing underneath the guitars.

The songs end quite abruptly as well and as third song Asaheimr kicks in; all you can do is buckle up for the ride. There are touches of ambience within the guitars but this is solo black metal at it's finest.

Fourth song Jotunheimr is a guitar laden instrumental, with plenty of feedback drenched riffs. It breaks up the unnerving atmosphere created by Moloch's screams.

Fifth song Helheimr is another short blast of ambient black metal madness. Much like the rest of the tape, the guitars rule the roost, only diminishing slightly when the vocals kick. The bass and drums can be faintly heard in the background. This rounds off side 1 of the tape.

The second side features the other four songs. Vanaheimr carries on in the same format. Its running time is only just over a minute, so it feels a little like a second intro.

Jotunheimr (pt. II) is the second instrumental on the tape. Much like Jotunheimr on the first side, the guitars carry it along with a consistent beat in the background from the drums. There are nice swathes of ambience and other instruments in the background of the song too though, signalling it out as a subtly different song.

En As I Dype Skogen is a Darkthrone Cover with a difference. It starts with what sounds like a programmed beat and the main melody is played on keys. This piece of music carries the ambient influences of Moloch and does away with the harsh black metal sound heard throughout the rest of the record. There are even no guitars heard on the song.

The final salvo on this tape is the seventeen minute instrumental Microcosmos. A song inspired by the heavens above our heads. There are crashes of thunder amongst the orchestral ambience. This is a slow and relaxing piece of music though, which wouldn't be out of place on an exotic film score.

Even though this review is short compared to many of the ones I've done recently, it's worth noting that this release is another one that's difficult to categorise. Moloch has a habit of producing music differently with each release, and by doing so keeps things fresh and keeps listeners guessing.

I gather that this particular version of A Journey To The Vyrdin is difficult to get hold of, so the best thing to do is go to Moloch's store at Depressive Illusions Records - http://depressiveillusions.com/search/node/Moloch%20A%20Journey

They have copies available and you can also visit Moloch at http://www.moloch.com.ua/ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Molochukr.


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