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Album Review: Jord by MØL

Danish blackgaze act MØL release their debut album Jord on 13th April via Holy Roar. Think of the shimmering tropes of Slowdive with a seamlessly blend of a sharp strain of Black Metal and you’ll be on the right track.

While many peoples first experience with this conjoined genre might have been Deafheaven, they still are quite rightly seen as the maker for which everything else is compared. It mightn’t be fair, but that’s the way of the world. Fortunately, MØL more than standout as something unique and are more than an equal match for Deafheaven.

The organic, emotive and gut-wrenching nature of Jord makes for a thrilling and captivating listen. It captures the attention from the outset and keeps you locked in for the full 40 minutes. Whether it be the darkened and guttural opener ‘Storm’ or the more expansive lead single ‘Penumbra’ you know as soon as the track kicks in that this is going to be something special. ‘Storm’ sets the scene and hints at the blend of visceral black metal and epic soundscapes that are going to come. ‘Penumbra’ is where MØL start to knock it out of the park and you realise there’s something more to them that your average band. On the track, Penumbra, vocalist Kim Song-Sternkopf and guitarist Nicolai Busse Hansen said they wanted the listener to feel like they’re on a journey through change.

“The lyrics describe a sensory journey from light towards dark; the washing out of colours in nature, following seasonal change from bright and vibrant to dim and bleak. This is underlined by the constant changes in the music through various parts of the song. Nothing is ever the same. The music comes full circle.

“However, this is only brief, as change comes again with more intensity. The underlining message is the importance of accepting this change as it happens. Change will come – what you do with that knowledge is up to you.”

The whole of Jord is a sensory delight. ‘Bruma’ twists from having devastatingly brutal black metal through post-rock soundscape into moments that verge on the ambient and back. Absolutely thrilling. ‘Vakuum’ is the closest thing you’ll get to an accessible (to the mainstream) track. There’s some delightfully instantaneous metal riffs in there. Then again, team that with the black metal style screech and the pummelling drums and it’s not something that your Granny would listen to. For us, though, it’s hard to imagine a more compelling and emotive track.

‘/\’ starts out in the vein of a lovelorn shoegaze track. The guitars swell with emotion and you can’t help but feel like they’re reaching in and tugging at your heart strings. The guitars build and you’re expecting them to explode into a torrent of black metal riffs, but they keep it in the shoegaze / post-rock sphere and its simply beautiful.

Big riffs return in ‘Ligament’, but it’s also home to some epic post-rock dynamics that are stunning and emotive, it takes you from one extreme to the other, darkness to light and back again. ‘Virga’ is monstrous in its brutality and beautiful in the explorative guitar parts before closer ‘JORD’ rounds things of with a chillingly extreme and progressive blend of heavy riffs and atmospherics.

MØL take you on a thrilling journey here, you’re never quite sure what to expect apart from brilliance. It’s an emotional rollercoaster and you’ll feel like you’ve lived extremes within its 40 minutes. This is the new blackgaze marker.

AD Rating 9/10

 

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