Post-black metal has seen a rise in the past few years with groups such as Deafhaven pushing the subgenre to the mainstream. One of its contributors is Danish quintet MØL, who deliver an injection of vitality to the subgenre with their full-length, ‘Jord’.
‘Storm’ is a fitting title for the record’s opening track. Delayed heavy guitar notes linger, holding tension within its space whilst overlapping melodies harmonise with one another. As you’re lulled in, furious drumming rips you from the previous delicate surroundings into an assault on the senses.
Feral screams tear across a bleak soundscape, supported by churning guitars that play with the rhythm of the track. Playing with pace and accented percussion, the chorus delivers a strong hook wrapped in sinister riffs and towering vocals. The juxtaposition between stunning beauty and ravenous aggression is a balance that MØL keeps a firm grip on throughout the record.
What sets the group aside from their contemporaries is the craftsmanship within their tracks, focusing on strong melodic elements but not relying on them. Dynamics shift continually, cuts such as ‘Vakuum’ switching chords and percussive patterns on a whim.
The track delves into the earlier influences of black metal with punk style chords and blast beats tearing through the verses. Tribal drum patterns drag you into a driving chorus, filled with rhythmic muting, twisting melodies, and high screams, reaching a boiling point. It’s relentless, and the only reprieve to be found is in the ringing notes at its climax.
With a selection of tracks so strong, inevitably some elements may pale in comparison, such as instrumental ‘Lambda’. It starts strong, building intensity with layered guitars and intricate drum patterns. Whilst it uses its layers effectively, it doesn’t impact as strongly compared to the rest of the stellar compositions on the record.
Following on from this is ‘Ligaments’, a track that brings new elements to the already impressive debut. Consisting of low clean vocals, blood curdling screams and a galloping rhythm section, the final act gives a new spin on the subgenre.
‘Jord’ is a record that needs to be taken in one sitting, allowing crushing brutality and fragile intimacy wash over you. If you have an interest in black metal at all, MØL deserve your undivided attention