Friday, 23 November 2012

Moloch - Meine Ganze Hoffnung Stirbt


Those of you who've been following my blog for a while now, will know that I've been championing the ambient black metal of Ukrainian act Moloch at various points this year. Well I've still got three-full length records to review from this prolific artist, so here is the first of that trio. Meine Ganze Hoffnung Stirbt is a seven track, instrumental full length that was released in June 2011.

It was released on limited CD through Ashes of Paltry Souls and on limited cassette by Canadian label Cold Northern Blood. There was also a very limited wooden box set edition, which featured countless goodies as well as a special piano rehearsal tape from 2009.

Tracklist - 

1. Illusion des Winters 
2. Wenn der Herbsthimmel ergraut ist 
3. Meine ganze Hoffnung stirbt 
4. Ferne W√§lder gehen im tiefen Herbstnebel verloren 
5. Meine einsame Essenz fliegt zu den Sternen 
6. Ein letzter Atem der Natur 
7. Ausklang 

This full length carries on Moloch's tradition of interspersing their cold black metal releases with ambient music. Opening track Illusion des Winters features the customary brassy ambience that seems to be a staple of Moloch's more laid back compositions. Once things that always gets me with this music is the subtle majesty of it. The powerful brass stands to attention then fades to allow the more classic piano to soak up the limelight.

The strings sit in the background to add mystery to the song and certainly make it feel more like a classical piece of music. It could very much be the soundtrack to a documentary that shows off the beauty and richness of a majestic, soaring landscape, such is it's quality. Moloch's decision to open this record with it's lengthiest track is a clever one too, as it sets the tone for the rest of record and helps the listener to settle in for the remainder. The harsh, cold wind sample ever-present, to remind you of the setting in which the music was recorded.

As Wenn der Herbsthimmel... demonstrates, Moloch's musical arrangements are simple and uncluttered but allow enough musicality for them to be appreciated by fans of more progressive, forward thinking music. Some might say I'm beard stroking a bit here, but the chances are, if you listen to metal or classical music, you will already appreciate this. 

There are no black metal flourishes at work on this record, like previous ambient releases from Moloch. The ability to release music which seems at odds with the evil, harsh persona that this act creates with it's black metal is enough to keep it relevant and undiluted. Much like Wenn der Herbsthimmel... before it, the title track is a piano piece, but with choral and stringed elements adding texture and emotion to the music. The majority of musical elements here are samples but thanks to the production, do sound very organic, unlike some which can sound fake and tinny when properly recorded.

Another point worth making about Meine Ganze Hoffnung Stirbt is that it has a great flow to it, thanks to the removal of the gaps in between songs. Sometime albums suffer because of ill placed gaps between songs, but Moloch seems to have kept the flow going right through this record by allowing songs to flow into one another with a less obvious start and finish point, making it sound like a cohesive whole.

Fifth song Meine einsame Essenz... seems to feature a slightly more menacing tone, with some lower tones and bass in the background. The textures are built up in this song, with the keys, strings and samples working alongside each other to create a more colourful listen. The haunting feel of the penultimate track carries the atmosphere forth, but not in an unnerving way. It flows peacefully along almost as if the previous track had not ended as it leads you to the final short outro, Ausklang.

To here this album in it's entirety and download it or buy the CD, you can head to Moloch's bandcamp page below:-


You can also purchase CD editions from Ashes of Paltry Souls at http://www.ashesofpaltrysouls.com/order/music/cds and tape versions from Cold Northern Blood at http://www.coldnorthernblood.com/.

As always, you can find Moloch at www.moloch.com.ua and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Molochukr.

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