Review – Moloch: Verwustung

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Review – Moloch: Verwustung
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Moloch: Verwustung
Black Metal
Acephale Winter Productions
March 25th, 2014
Release length: 45:24
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Ukraine’s Moloch is one of the most respected one-man black metal operations in existence today. Formed back in 2002 by the man known as Pr. Sergiy Fjordsson (real name Sergiy Gordiuk) has unleashed countless albums, splits, EPs, compilations, and more. His most recent is the roughly forty-five minute full-length recording Verwustung, the twelfth for this project, and the first in about two years. But is this another quality effort, or could this be considered one of the few rushed albums from Moloch?

“Todesstille” introduces the album with a dismal piece of Ambience. Slight rumbles and soft keyboard notes give off the sensation of a vast wasteland in the uneasing chill of an autumn night. It’s recapped on the closing title track, though expanded on a little more with creepy piano notes at a distance that give it more of a b-grade horror feel, or even something taken from an early Resident Evil video game score. The simple piece of “Todesstille” gives way to the explosive start of “Blutmond,” introducing an expected analog audio quality. While not entirely raw, the drums often sound distant and incredibly thin. The louder guitars and bass are pretty crisp overall, and the vocals match their volume, all of which drown out some parts of the drum kit. While a little louder level would have been nice, not having it doesn’t really do much damage in the end. The song itself mixes aggressive music and with some creepy melodic hooks that seem to be more in the background, sometimes even hidden among the madness and howling in the vocals.

“Spiritueller Selbstmord” moves at a slower pace despite the faster bass kick performance. This has a truly haunting sensation that the rougher audio quality only amplifies. The addition of female harmonizations in the distance, as if travelling in the wind just add to the already creepy chorus highlighted with wails of desperation that are reminiscent of depressive black metal, or a Macabre album at the very least. Meanwhile “Die Kalte der Ewigkeit” takes that lead vocal approach and uses a little layering in some spots to create another venomous assault with some burdening passages, as well as leads that are as dismal and burdening as they are impossible to not bang your head along to.

As far as the tracks themselves go, the only downfall ends up being “Du bist nichts in dieser sterbenden Welt”. This isn’t due to the song being bad, boring, or anything along those lines, but rather how it seems to be two different performances crammed into one. For about the first half, you’re greeted with a simple bass performance that is depressing in a minimalistic manner. It makes for a fantastic introduction to what you might expect would be “Verwustung”, but instead suddenly jerks into another song all together by the two minute mark in a similar manner as “Todesstille” into “Blutmond”. This latter half is a nice piece of slower paced misery, but it could have had a stronger start instead of just slamming into high gear off a very miserable piece.

For a one man band that continues to release recording after recording, this album proves that Moloch is far from out of material, or even the slightest bit burnt out despite the two year gap between full-length releases. Most of Verwustung is not only addictive, but able to feed certain emotions to the listener that delve into creepy, haunting aggression, and even paranoia in respect to the piece of Ambience that start and end the release. It just would have been nice to have some stronger drums, especially in the bass kicks since the light thud that comes through just isn’t impressive. Despite this cosmetic issue, Verwustung is a good example of what a one-man black metal project can and, for the most part, should sound like.


01. Todesstille – 5:17
02. Blutmond – 4:42
03. Spiritueller Selbstmord – 5:50
04. Negativitat – 4:20
05. Nur der Tod ist wirklich – 4:49
06. Die Kalte der Ewigkeit – 4:30
07. Du bist nichts in dieser sterbenden Welt – 4:50
08. Verwustung – 11:06
Initial Pressing Score: 7/10

Moloch

Digital review copy of this release provided by Acephale Winter Records
via The Black Birch.