02/21/2009: "MOLOCH "Depression of Surtr" CD Reviewed by AQ/tUMULt"
MOLOCH "Depression of Surtr" CD Reviewed by AQ / tUMULt (Feb. 2009)
Finally, the first proper full length from Ukrainian one man black metal horde Moloch. As we mentioned in our review of the split tape from a while back (the only thing we'd been able to get in sufficient numbers to list), we have been totally obsessed with Moloch, doing whatever we could to get a hold of everything and anything he's recorded. Which is quite a feat as he's released about 40 records, many of them box sets, and making it even more of a feat is the fact that most were limited to between 10 and 40 copies. Argghhh. Andee has even been emailing with Moloch about possibly releasing something on tUMULt, all in the interest of making these gorgeously grim sounds available to more than a handful of connected diehards.
So in steps the fine folks at BlackMetal.Com, who have released Depression Of Surtr, a best of compilation, gathering up various tracks from a handful or releases, as well as a bunch of unreleased tracks (although since barely anyone has heard most of this stuff, they're essentially ALL unreleased). So what has got us all in a tizzy about this Moloch character? Hard to explain, but with most black metal, it's as much about vibe as it is sound, and these tracks, besides sounding amazing, are so weirdly haunting and mysterious, the guitars so saturated and blown out, the drums buried in the mix, more of a pulse than a beat, and the vocals, somewhere between Weakling and Silencer, howled and wailed and utterly anguished. So tortured and over the top, again simultaneously adding to the vibe and mood as well as the sound. But besides the vibe, which is about as harrowing and haunting and GRIM as can be, the sound is fucking epic, Burzum by way of Abruptum, mostly midtempo, even the blasts are only slightly faster, the guitars are super distorted and droney, the sort of trance-y buzz that has us immediately entranced.
There are also some long stretches of black ambience, of shimmery drift and rumbling dronemusic, which makes sense, as Moloch has also released 10 or 15 entire discs full of ambient music, but here they nicely balance the blown out grimnity of the more buzzy blown out tracks. There's even a couple covers at the end, one a Burzum cover, all pianos and synths, lilting and minor key, the other a Darkthrone cover, which is totally bizarre, swooning synths over an awesomely cheesy drum machine (which sounds remarkably similar to the one built into the boom box in the back room). Not sure what to even make of it, so strange, and a little bit silly, but once you get immersed in it, it does seem to sound a bit more haunting. But only a bit. But then that's what we were talking about, the vibe, and the mood, and Moloch creates such a strange unpredictable vibe, with his skewed perspective on black metal, which is what makes his sound, and his records so amazing. And which is exactly why we're so obsessed...