One thing became crystal clear very quickly after listening to MØL’s most recent effort, Diorama: this band can do it all. They’ve devised eight elegant tracks to prove just that, frankly leaving fans wanting more. Listed as “Post-Black Metal/Shoegaze” on the Metal Archives, these Danes dabble in Progressive Rock, Black Metal, Melodic Death Metal and even a snippet of Pop Punk. Another appealing aspect of MØL’s Nuclear Blast debut is the apparent influences vocalist Kim Song Sternkopf takes from fellow Scandinavians Dark Tranquillity and Omnium Gatherum. There is even a whiff of Parkway Drive.
‘Photophobic’ is jam-packed with frantic drumming, headbanging shredding and seamless transitioning from Metal to Rock. ‘Serf,’ a melo-death delight, helps to highlight the talent and attention to detail present from axemen Nicolai Hansen and Frederik Lippert. All-in-all a well-structured song, ‘Serf’ turns it up to eleven thanks to insane finger tapping.
For a brief time, it appeared as though ‘Vestige’ would skew more pop-punk, and though it grew in heaviness and complexity, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if it had strayed into A Day to Remember territory. Sternkopf doesn’t shy away from clean singing and MØL utilize female vocals as well, with striking success. The aforementioned ‘Photophobic’ in particular features a quite pleasing overlap of male and female.
The atmospheric and melodic ‘Redacted’ includes a brief slow-down which soon barrels back into bruising screams, owing a slight nod to Winston McCall. ‘Tvesind’ mirrored the vocal abilities and tone of Omnium Gatherum frontman Jukka Pelkonen. None of this is to say Sternkopf is ripping off or piggy-backing other artists. Rather, he is bringing a melting pot of influences and stirring it up to create his own unique stew.
Not a single track on Diorama out stays its welcome; in fact, the titular closer is the second-longest on the album but doesn’t exceed eight minutes. It is enough time for MØL to send everyone off in epic, blackgaze fashion. It’s simply a testament to what this five-piece has in its arsenal. Nuclear Blast was smart to sign MØL because the band just put out a multi-faceted, mesmerizing label debut.
Buy the album here: https://moeldk.bandcamp.com/album/diorama
8 / 10