ALBUM REVIEW: Molder – Engrossed in Decay


Molder ticks off a lot of my sonic checkmarks, but something isn’t quite right here. If Engrossed in Decay (Prosthetic Records) were a dish in its ingredients section you’d read that it contains Autopsy, early Death, Slayer, and a hint of vintage Carcass. Seems like a pretty appetizing meal, right? And there are several moments to sink your teeth into, but overall, I was left unsatisfied. I’ll still recommend the eatery, no doubt, but here’s to hoping that the next entre hits the spot.

Needless to say, Molder isn’t taking death or thrash to new unseen levels on Engrossed in Decay and that’s perfectly fine. So many of the great modern metal bands of the last decade whether it be Power Trip, Pallbearer, or Creeping Death aren’t reinventing the genre. Their genius comes from still finding maximum vitality in styles of music that are older than most dads out there. And Molder finds that vitality on it’s ripper of a title track and the total firebombing that is ‘Unsubstantial Hallucinations.’


That said, one of the faults on Engrossed in Decay is that it’s production and overall sound mix is a bit too lo-fi. I get that it is in homage to the extreme metal of the 1980s, but this is an instance of leaning way too far into the Morrisound Recording style. Speaking of that coke-fueled decade, try and keep track of the amount of Celtic Frost-esque “Oofs” and shrieks Aaren Pantke unleashes throughout the LP. I was going to recommend doing a shot for each one, but I don’t want to feel responsible for your alcohol poisoning. While those vocals are in abundance, I did notice a distinct lack of lead guitar work on Engrossed in Decay. ‘Cask of Maggots’ runs for over six minutes and there’s barely a couple of short solos sitting at its center. The last two minutes of the track are wide open for a Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King dive bomb special, but no dice.

Fans of death and thrash will likely enjoy what Molder is serving here, but I can’t help but imagine the feast it could’ve been.


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6 / 10