Written by Carcassbomb
- Unveilance Of Dark Matter
- Post Metal/Hardcore/Experimental/Prog/Mathcore
- January 31, 2020
- The Sign Records (store link)
This is an interesting album. It’s somewhere between progressive death metal with a raw mix and elements of hardcore or mathcore, particularly on the vocal side of things. It’s hard to pin this one down to an exact essence, it very much does its own thing without necessarily considering where in the world of metal or even alternative music they would belong. I can only respect them for that in an era of redundant worship releases.
Moloken (Swedish for “downhearted.”) is a long running band that initially started as a side project of Kristoffer Bäckström who was the frontman of the hardcore band The Pookie Syndrome. Moloken eventually formed with the remaining members coming from various music worlds. This shows in the dynamic playing that transcends typical labeling, whether it’s progressive or deconstructive or what, I’m not entirely sure but it rules.
It’s heavy but it’s also tragic. Unveilance Of Dark Matter is a journey with 42 minutes of tracks that never keep a consistent length and often exercise isolated music ideologies. They’ve experimented a lot here but no matter what’s going on it always contributes to the overall dread and melancholy. Despite being full of wistful and poetic stylings you’d expect from post hardcore, it’s never quite done with a pure melody. Even when there’s clean elements like keys, sweet guitar licks or spoken word they will always be accompanied by a cacophony of aggressive rhythms or lead into aggro screaming of both the low and high variety. This is particularly observable on the shorter transitional tracks that will often have foreboding instruments playing under discomforting noise or feedback for contrast.
“Lingering Demise” is one of the longest and by far most melodic tracks with visions of Option Paralysis era Dillinger Escape Plan coming to mind, perhaps if you mashed it firmly into some Maudlin Of The Well. This track plain old blew me away. It has a subtle lead up to an explosion of raw frustration and controlled chaos, comparable to Circle Takes The Square – an older ‘screamo’ or more accurately skramz sound I’ve always been fond of. It’s the least “metal” proper track on the album and my favorite, it shows a patience and comfort within a longer format. It appears to me they don’t really consider how long something is going to take, they just tell each part of their story and it ends when it ends – it always feels right when it does indeed end.
The artwork is a piece from Costin Chioreanu who has also done a variety of artwork for At The Gates, Warning, Tribulation and a slew of other bands as well as interesting expo’s of his personal works. This is an artist that often has very specific concepts within their work and matches perfectly with the aesthetic of Moloken. This is a dark image that you can spend a long time looking at trying to interpret the abyssal presences and revealing eyes. I’m sure the fact the central characters don’t have eyes is an indication of something.
The bass on this album is super busy, if you dig bass that can do it all from funk to metal to hardcore and everything in between then this is a great showcase. It’s always noticeable and it’s always doing good things. The vocalist has a lot of range and really forces out the words with a pointed edge even when they’re being quieter. There’s nothing weak or flat on this record. Check this one out, it’s cutting edge, quite literally since they cut the edge off of every genre to make it their beautiful bastard child.