Underground Greats: MØL
In the world of underground music, popular opinion doesn’t count for much – but when everyone in the underground agrees on something unanimously, it’s worth sitting up and paying attention. This isn’t a world where spray-tanned mannequins rush to shill for whichever corporations are paying top dollar this week; it runs primarily on genuine enthusiasm and passionate altruism. Without the above, bands like MØL (pronounced more like “moel”) would remain ignored – and the best of us can’t stand the thought of it.
Blackgaze – a style primarily built upon shoegaze and black metal foundations – may have existed for a while now, but there’s plenty of space for innovation and expansion within it. Taking inspiration from the likes of blackgaze trailblazers Deafheaven, Alcest, and Lantlôs – and drawing heavily on more modern post-rock approaches – MØL have wasted little time in carving out their own niche within a niche.
By remaining unafraid to embrace chunky riffs that veer in the direction of more traditional metal styles, MØL really set themselves apart during tracks like Penumbra, Vakuum, and Virga – all from debut album Jord (pronounced “yor”). Elsewhere on the same release, they get stuck into more familiar blackgaze sections (Storm, Bruma, title track Jord) and turn up the intensity still further for personal favourite Ligament. As rightly respected as MØL’s predecessors are, Jord is for my money the best blackgaze-related album I’ve heard so far:
Still, this is just the beginning for MØL – and a giant leap forward for blackgaze as a genre. Listening back to their earliest EPs – the eponymous MØL and follow-up II – it’s clear that these guys were finding their feet back then. But right now, they’re already sprinting for the hills under roiling pitch-black clouds, promising claps of thunder, and the already-present rainlike sound of bubbling, appreciative applause.
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