Friday, 22 May 2020

Moloken - Unveilance Of Dark Matter


Labels: The Sign Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 31 Jan 2020

Tracklist:

1. This Love Is A Curse
2. Surcease
3. Shadowcastle (Pt. 1)
4. No Ease, No Rest
5. Hollow Caress
6. Venom Love
7. Repressed
8. Lingering Demise
9. Unbearable
10. One Last Breath
11. Unveilance Of Dark Matter

Finally my review schedule is back on track, even if my inbox isn't! With the lockdown still in place in the UK (albeit with some slightly relaxed rules), I wanted to spend this balmy evening losing myself in some more heaviness, this time from Sweden. Moloken released their fourth full-length Unveilance Of Dark Matter in January via The Sign Records. They've been playing atmospheric and progressive metal/sludge for over a decade and have release two EPs alongside their full-length albums over that period. As they prepare for a full live performance of the record on May 23rd, you can prepare yourselves by giving it a listen.

Moloken has been a name that I’ve been familiar with for a while, but whose music has always flown under the radar slightly. The quartet opens album number four with ‘This Love Is A Curse’ and it’s a precursor of sorts. It’s mainly instrumental, save for the final thirty seconds, where the vocals kick in and pull you into the band’s angular extremity. ‘Surcease’ is a different beast. The tempo is faster and the atmosphere is darker. It’s a mix of many different musical elements, from sludge, to death metal, to unnerving post-hardcore and it’s certainly got plenty of metallic chops.

You’ll find that as Moloken’s songs get longer, they become more progressive. ‘Shadowcastle (Pt. 1)’ is a case in point. It reminds you of Leviathan-era Mastodon and it gives a proper glimpse of what the band is capable of when they stretch out their songs. That progression and momentum is broken up by the piano-led interlude of ‘No Ease, No Rest’, which is still dramatic enough to hold your attention as it fades to reveal ‘Hollow Curses’, with it’s blackened hardcore-like riffs and low growls. The Sign Records has become a reliable stable for hard-rock and metal that sits at the traditional end of the spectrum, so Moloken is a different prospect for the label’s followers.

Their sludgy side comes out on ‘Venom Love’ thanks to some subtly NOLA-inspired vocals. That said, it’s still a technical song that brims with post-metal atmosphere. It’s a lot more instrumental-led this time but that’s no bad thing, especially when it’s delivered by a band that are this good. Talking of post-metal (again), ‘Repressed” features a riff plucked out of the top draw. It reminds me of Scottish (short-lived) post-metal/doom band Voe, if any of you remember them. It’s a very short little interlude but it’s ideally placed here. 

‘Repressed’ blends into the striking ‘Lingering Demise’ very easily indeed. I wasn’t expecting this kind of breadth from Moloken, but when they do flex their muscles during longer songs, they’re a joy to listen to. Again, there are notable glances to some of the more well known bands in the genre, but with metal constantly evolving and revolving, it’s no surprise. To go from ‘Lingering Demise’ to the black metal rasps of ‘Unbearable’ is a bit of a shock. I’m not sure it was Moloken’s intention to sound that way, but that’s how it comes across during the opening bars. From there it becomes a mash of death metal vox and prog/jazz instrumentation. It’s great!

There’s time for a final stirring interlude in ‘One Last Breath’, which is aptly titled as it allows you to take yours before album closer and title track, ‘Unveilance Of Dark Matter’. This is your last chance to dance and Moloken make sure you remember it. This record flows in such a coherent way and goes by almost effortlessly. It contains enough truly emotive anger alongside a heap of great musicianship, which really brings it to life. We’re already nearly five months deep into 2020 and with January still serving up albums like this, the expectations for the rest of the year are great.

You can stream and purchase 'Unveilance Of Dark Matter' on all formats via Moloken's Bandcamp page here:-




You can also grab copies from The Sign Records here - https://freighttrain.se/en/the-sign-record/

The Sign Records - https://www.facebook.com/thesignrecords/

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