Moloken Rural

Moloken are a blackened doom metal act hailing from Northern Sweden. They've released one EP, We All Face The Dark Alone (2008), as well as their first full-length effort, Our Astral Circle (2009). Rural is their second LP, a moody, discontent and brooding work. The drums immediately set the tone, clamorous and fretful, creating a sense of disquiet and restlessness. The mix is deliberately imbalanced ― certain riffs and vocal passages are allowed to swell above others, temporarily overwhelming the sound, before settling down again, like the album's rattling the bars of its cage. The atmosphere evoked by Rural is oppressive and rough, all overcast sky, sleet and gravel. These different shades of inhospitable grey are broken up by the occasional smouldering ember or lightning bolt. The vocals are caustic, smoothed out by the warped, rounder guitar sound. Where the vocals scour like acid, the relentless guitars mercilessly buffet the listener ― where one eats away aggressively, but unevenly, the other inexorable wears you smooth in time. This effective two-fold attack is both aggressive and cathartic, wringing out emotion. Rural is a great album to be miserable to. (Discouraged)