The blending of metal and shoegaze seems like a match made in heaven: both have a heavy emphasis on atmospherics, extremely effected guitars and indecipherable lyrics.
In the case of Denmark's møl, it’s more like a blending of heaven and hell, a coming together as the fury and energy of black and doom metal meet the celestial harmonics of shoegaze. And while a lot of purists of both traditions bemoan the loss of purity of their blessed and blasted mediums of choice, the truth is both can be better off for it.
For instance the inclusion of shoegaze production takes the edge off of black metal's trebly rasp. While the harsh and uncommercial sound quality may be essential to black metal's mission statement, by nature it entails a very limited audience. That means that black metal bands will be plying their blast beats for doomed congregations, preaching to the infernal choir, which kind of negates the threat at the same time.
The inclusion of metal gives shoegaze some much needed heat and intensity, bringing it down to Earth and correcting some of the ethereality of the first wave, which ensured that only waifish people in black clothes would listen. møl's first release møl is a very short and uber-sweet dose of blast beats, heavenly guitars and infernal shrieking. møl formed in late 2012 by two former members of a Danish shoegazeing band Antennas to Nowhere and were joined by two more members in 2013. Their goal is to "create a massive, affective, dreamy wall of sound, that may crush or envelop the listener and take them to distant places of the imagination."
This goal is a success as their crashing walls of sounds seem to evoke images of a granite mountain range, perhaps in a distant time or place - far from the clamor of society. This gray-black mountain range, seen at night, is lit up by otherworldly constellations. Perhaps this is another world, or this one, in a very distant time.
møl is way more technical than your typical black metal or shoegaze band, both of which are content to produce washy walls of sound. møl has the wash but they intersperse it with moments of synchronized thrashy grooves, such as in the case of "Airy,”which is ironically one of the doomiest, riffing-est moments on here.
The heavens don't unleash until midway through the final track "Makhachkala." However in the EP's most thrilling moment - clean, beautiful guitar picking opens up into grinding double bass and that witchy shriek. It's epic as heck without being a cliché and suggests a fretful peace between the spirits of the air and the Earth.
møl is a tight and well-rehearsed unit that is essential listening for any metalhead who's had enough of rehashed genre tropes and for any dream rocker who feels the blood in their veins and likes to run in the night. This self-titled EP is a fine, fine example of the nascent scene known as “blackgaze" (also "atmospheric black metal") and is a must-hear for fans of Wolves In The Throne Room, Slowdive or Deafheaven.
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