MØL- DIORAMA : Album Review

MØL release Diorama, the follow up to their 2018 debut album Jord, and dazzle our senses with a sublime combination of black metal and shoegaze.

Release date: Out now

Label: Nuclear Blast

Format: CD/Vinyl/Digital

MØL, a quintet from Denmark, formed in 2012 and has been developing a sound based on their own unique musical vision, which reaches its full creative expression on the new album Diorama. Fraktur opens the album, with a deceptively gentle melodic refrain, before the guitars hit overdrive, and the intense screamed vocals of Kim Song Sternkopf burst in. The potent intensity of the music, coupled with gorgeous cascading guitar melodies, immediately suggests a unique melding of musical styles, where the vehemence of black metal meets the melodic stylings of shoegaze and post-metal.

Photophobic, the first single from the album, goes a step further, adding to the unabating blast-beats, a surprising and intriguing flavour of the great Killswitch Engage, with a quite thrilling take on their metalcore anthemic riffs. There is also a striking musical interlude in the track, where angelic-like clean vocals and pastoral guitar melodies take over the song. The theme of the song, the band has described as the fear of journeying back through personal history and through ideas of self. Something the music conveys very effectively, with its sense of overwhelming waves of sound, punctuated by gentler soothing musical moments. 

At the album midpoint, Redacted exhibits a pummelling rhythmic attack, together with rising and falling instrumental sections, where in the gentler parts, beautifully delicate bass and guitar melodies lead the sound. The drumming in the intense sections is quite a staggering listen, as almost impossibly the different rhythms frantically cross over each other.  

The lengthier Tvesind track and Diorama, the title track that closes the album, are where the band set out their compelling sonic stall and the reasons why you should seek out this album. Tvesind combines quite seamlessly, completely driven black metal onslaughts, bringing together both black metal screams and death metal growls, with some quite beautiful Cocteau Twins like floating melodies that just ascend out of the mix. It’s a compelling listen, with the final chords drifting gently and solemnly away.

Diorama has an enchanting beginning, with some quite beguiling and moving vocals from Katherine Shepard of Sylvaine, joined by Kim Song Sternkopf ’s very tender clean vocals. The driving central melodic motif is built up slowly, by layer upon layer of haunting guitar melodies. The underpinning drum and bass guitar work creates a pulsing tempo, and also adds musical accents, which together create an emotional flow to the music, which echoes around the final set of high-pitched screamed vocals. The song closes by shattering into sustained feedback. A work of musical complexity and beauty, that you just need to hear.

This album is a richly rewarding listen, and the band is playing several UK dates in February, including Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and London. Please go and see them, as, on the strength of this album, it should be a fabulous musical experience.

View the official music video for Photophobic here:

You can find MØL here: Bandcamp / Facebook

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