Moloken – “Unveilance Of Dark Matter” (The Sign Records)
Born in the bitter cold of northern Sweden comes the grim but beautiful music of Moloken, which perhaps unsurprisingly is very much like the land itself! Throughout the last 12 years Moloken has been fusing together influences from post death/doom/black metal along with 70’s progressive rock and hardcore, the result of which is a highly charged mix of intense, dark yet also highly atmospheric music that can be heard on this impressive 4th release. Clearly confident in their musical stance, and no doubt affirmed from tours with Cult of Luna and This Gift Is A Curse, the sound on “Unveilance Of Dark Matter” is as enshrouding on the 11 tracks here as one might expect them to be live, adding even more credibility to this truly captivating band who ‘…burn what we worshipped and worship what we burned…’! As the cold, chiming melodies blend with ugly riffing on opener ‘This Love Is A Curse’ and the raw, hollow vocals come into play, you just know that this musical expression is on a different level, and as ‘Hollow Caress’ with its screamo and vocal echoes contrasts superbly with some prominent bass to eventually roll into a percussive beat driven jam, the clanging melodies are almost haunting in making the song utterly captivating. Indeed, Moloken succeed time and again in getting your attention and then holding it fast through their unpredictable song twists and arrangements, but it’s always within a dark and brooding atmosphere that proves completely irresistible. On ‘Venom Love’ there’s more of a groove as hoarse roars and melancholic tones jostle with wailing guitars and a monster bottom heavy bass on one of the more prog emphasised numbers, but in Moloken’s expert hands, nonetheless all still addictive. In incredible contrast comes ‘Lingering Demise’, whose initial ambience is offset brilliantly as the power is switched on to dramatic effect and wickedly topped off by dark drawls and tortured screamo as those incredible guitars continue to clang and reverberate as if possessed in themselves. Closing superbly with the title track, the guitar chimes, hardcore screamo and fast punk beats reminded me a lot of Hüsker Dü, although certainly energised more and far darker……unsurprising really when you realise the band’s name translates to ‘downhearted’.