Live Reviews

MØL w/Countless Skies – Manchester Rebellion: Live Review

MØL are out on their first headlining UK/EU tour with plenty of phenomenal songs to impart.

We’re big fans of MØL here on At The Barrier. Diorama was one of the highlights of 2021 (review here), and we were lucky to see the band back in September 2022 with Crippled Black Phoenix (review here).

Support for MØL came in the form of UK band, Countless Skies. Their dark and intense music went over well with most in Manchester (such was the queue for their merch after their performance). The four piece also had a special guest in cellist Arianna Mahsayeh, thus making the band a five piece for the show. The vocals moved between clean, growled, sung and shrieked; a real melting pot of styles in amongst the music.

Photo: Cornelius Qvist

Just over ten years since their formation, MØL have been turning heads with their style of shoegazey metal. Jord, their 2018 debut was a huge success and 2021’s Diorama saw them move onto a major label with Nuclear Blast.

Opening up with Fraktur, Manchester Rebellion was swathed in blistering strobe lights and a flurry of rip roaring riffing and drumming, and harsh vocals that cut right through.

A decent Wednesday crowd is somewhat shy in moving towards the stage; Kim Song Sternkopf encourages people to create more intimacy. With that, he launches full pelt into the crowd at the start of Vestige making those kind of faces Meshuggah’s Jens Kidman is famed for! The song, from Diorama, really makes an impact and the band seem to fully hit their groove; a sentiment backed by the growing rapture of the crowd.

To keep the momentum flying and the atmosphere high, the incredibly powerful Penumbra showcases the power that MØL posses musically. Ken Klejs moves the juggernaut between rhythms and tempos masterfully as the two pronged guitar attack shower those rhythms in glorious light. Sternkopf conducts the crowd in chants along with the song as he cuts poses through the ongoing maelstrom of strobe lights.

Itinerari is a song about ‘being a stranger in your own country’. The growing intimacy between crowd and band continues to grow as the band plough through their superb set. Serf sees the band get a little heavier. Vocally, it feels more crushing and the brilliant guitar work make the song a real highlight of the evening.

‘We are MØL from Denmark – it’s been our pleasure,’ announces Sternkopf as the band move into the end of their set. When Jord came out in 2018, it was greeted with praise from many quarters. Comparisons with Deafheaven and Alcest are definitely appropriate, but the way MØL finish their set is unique. The title track of Jord is absolutely sublime and with Bruma, Sternkopf takes himself back into the crowd, mic stand and all. The crowd surround the singer on the floor and it helps bring a stunning and memorable hour of music to a glorious conclusion.

MØL are a real treat of a band. They are full of passion and an energy that is wholly refreshing. On top of that, they have a collection of songs that flit between so many emotions and genuinely take you on a musical journey.

Their tour continues across the UK / EU over the next couple of weeks. You can check dates and get tickets here.

MØL: Bandcamp / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

Countless Skies: Facebook

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