Coming from the cold Swedish university city Umeå, the home of Cult of Luna and Meshuggah amongst others, tells you something. This is Moloken’s fourth album release. Expect darkness.
Moloken immediately set about imprinting themselves on our mind with a dark and dangerous intro. The sound is loud. From this to the intriguing post hardcore, I suppose you’d call it, of “Surcease”. Menace is at its epicentre and lingers. At a stroke the mood become angry and violent. The roaring vocalist sounds like he’s got caught up in a tornado. How could this band ever have released anything called “Six Songs of Happiness”? “Shadowcastle” takes us into yet darker territory. The assault is deliberate and nasty. Moloken have a great grip of structure, as the mood turns into that of malevolent reflection and threat. The ensuing short instrumental “No Ease” is the decaying icing on this old and crumbling cake. I pictured dusty grey monochrome rooms at this point.
“Hollow Caress” is more along the lines of insistent post metal, but not of the lingering kind. This is a very dark juggernaut hitting us full on from all sides. Scary stuff. Moloken are not frightened to indulge in extremity, and very often do. The atmosphere leads the way rather than rigid conformity to a set pattern, and the album is all the more appealing because of it. The dual instrumental – vocal assault of “Venom Love” is merciless. The nightmarish and unsettling “Repressed” is accompanied by the constant but unseen bird sound you hear in the jungle. After this, “Lingering Demise” launches into post metal spookiness. The quiet notes are disarming, and in any case punctuated by harshness and heaviness. For me a sign of this band’s maturity and belief in themselves was the mesmerising ending, which creates fear, but unlike many bands Moloken do not feel the need to take away the moment as they reinforce the mood. This album is making its mark. As they themselves say “It stains like coffee or blood”. “Unbearable” plunges us into further depths, but sucks us in with its rich rhythms. Once again the journey is rough but it’s well worth making. The discordant sounds of “One Last Breath” do nothing to dispel the terror, before the pulsating and fiery title track closes this intriguing and atmospheric work.
Moloken appear to have a clear vision of where they want to be and where they want to take us. They succeed. This a very dark place. There’s no time to wallow in sorrow, because “Unveilance of Dark Matter” is not that kind of album. It is atmospherically rich, musically imaginative and all in all a fine album from a very accomplished band.
(9/10 Andrew Doherty)