Published Mar 24, 2014The Ammonite deity Moloch was perceived as a demon when Abrahamic religions began to thrive; because of the great material and physical sacrifices the god demanded (usually gold and the blood of children), the devil Moloch is often associated with greed; Milton writes him in Paradise Lost as one of Satan's chief fallen angels. The Ukrainian atmospheric black metal project Moloch (the product of one solo artist, Sergiy Fjordsson) borrows from the demon this sense of ravenousness, which they have translated into a staggering output, with dozens of EPs, splits and full-length records since 2002.
Verwürstung is the tenth LP from Moloch, a harsh yet balanced effort that blends rich, ambient layering with unhinged black metal screeching. There are moments of loveliness in the instrumentation that are constantly being revised and upset by wild screams or sudden blasts of distortion, keeping the listener uncomfortable and ill at ease. Like this winter, which seems like it might never break, Verwürstung is all the more harsh and terrible for its moments of softening and thaw. (Acephale Winter)