Tag Archives: blackgaze

Underground Sounds: møl – JORD

Label: Holy Roar Records
Band: møl 
Origin: Danmark

Blackgaze is an interesting phenomenon. Relinquishing the claim for black metal heritage, it’s rapidly become the outcast child, from a scene that refuses any forward movement. This is more and more reflected in the artwork and overall aesthetic of the bands involved. I have no idea how the gents from møl feel about that, but as I see their work they are in no way showing their desire to get their music lumped into that.

This is a shame in my perception, but regardless of my personal divulgences on what black metal is in 2018, let’s not bother these Danes with it. Their album ‘JORD’ is a masterpiece, whichever way you want to turn it. The band has been doing their own thing for a while, creating two EP’s and finally their debut album this year. With a distinct feel and aesthetic, they are one of the stand-out acts for this year, pushing this sound into new realms in their very own way.

Bands have often explored the cleaner and more grand realms that black metal can move towards. From the epic, symphonic stuff in the 90’s and industrial endeavors following what has been dubbed ‘The Matrix’-effect onwards. Creating densely atmospheric music is what møl does, with utmost polished sound and striking tremolo parts that pluck at the heartstrings on a track like ‘Bruma’ or the beautiful, tranquil tunes of ‘Lambda’. This track is an oasis after the onslaught of some previous tracks, with the all shattering vocals and melodic power of every song, which are extremely well constructed.
The production really does the trick here. The band clearly is not going for the good ‘ol necrosound, but maximizes their melodic and harmonious sound, giving it raw edges where it actually hurts with vocals and razor-sharp riffing. A particular example is the track ‘Ligament’, that opens with a flurry of cuts and piercing vocals, yet such tight sound. By the end, we get to the gentle parts of the title track, møl already completely captured you with their smooth, yet intense sounding tunes and beautiful soundscapes.

Underground Sounds: VVilderness – Devouring The Sun

Label: Casus Belli Musica/Independent
Band: VVilderness
Origin: Hungary

It took me a while to really explore who VVilderness is, but I felt little surprise to see that Ferenc Kapiller, operating under the name vvilder, was operating this band. The previous project of Kapiller was Release The Longships. As much as a continuation, this is also a break with the previous sound, to create something new within the same context of northern mythology.

‘Devour The Sun’ imagines Ragnarok from an ecological perspective, as a cleansing of the world. A rebirth aftwerwards without the human infestation that has been slowly killing it. The sound is firmly lodged into the blackgaze niche, thanks to the shoegaze that is embedded in the soothing sound on ‘Devouring The Sun’.

The peculiarity of VVilderness is that the sound really is, as they describe it, akin to Alcest. Perhaps with a bit more brawn and postrock sensibilities, which come forward in the gradual build-up and conscientious craftsmanship that goes into creating an album so solidly connected. ‘Starless Dark’ is a slow ascent to the heights where the band operates, with sonorous tones and emotion-evoking strings. When it launches into the track ‘Sól’, this is where we get the black metal influences. Though I get the comparison with Harakiri For The Sky, I imagine a bit of Lantlôs too in there.

Though the music holds an intensity, that overwhelms the casual listener, the darkness eludes you. VVilderness offers tranquility, soothing beauty, like hazy rain on a sunny day. The sound is optimistic, warm and beautiful. On ‘Devour The Sun’, the guttural vocals disturb that peace and a slightly melancholic tone hits home. Well, it’s the end of the world so that makes sense. The undeniable majesty and force of the event takes over and dilutes this human emotion though, which fits the theme. From there we move to more acoustic music. ‘Life’ introduces the rebirth, with the sweeping ‘New Earth’, that simply offers a pure, meandering sound with high notes that sound like little bells heralding a new, beautiful age.

We leave with the glowing sounds of ‘Afterglow’. A bright ray of hope perhaps, though not for humanity.