Moloch – Verwüstung (Human to Dust Records)

Monday, 17th March 2014
Rating: 7/10

Moloch, AKA Sergiy Fjordsson is one incredibly prolific thirty-one year old dude.  This Ukrainian musician and entrepreneur not only is the founder of De Profundis Productions and Depressive Illusions Records, he has been a guest musician in eight bands and is currently involved four different one-man projects spanning the subgenres of ambient drone, noise, dark electronic and depressive black metal.  For Moloch (depressive black metal band since 2002), Verwüstung marks his twelfth full-length album (amid a mind-blowing 36 split releases and ten EP releases)!

Raw and fierce, consisting of mostly par-for-the-course grim black metal riffs, Verwüstung is an album of mid-tempo tunes, plenty of double kicks and some quality tormented vocal work.   Fairly epic vibes permeate the release, songs casting a feeling of (standard stuff, really) despair, hatred, insanity and pain (although the first and last tracks offer something a bit more peculiar).  Apparently this pagan black metaller also bases his musical themes in nature – lyrically the album is lost on myself, as a non-German speaker.

The album is supplemented by some pretty good atmospheres, coming by way of synthesizer haunting the background, as evidenced in third track “Spiritueller Selbstmord,” which would be a good highlight for this album.  Another positive for Verwüstung is that the bass guitar is actually a presence in the songs, the lack thereof in much raw black metal (mainly due to the lousy-on-purpose production [which is a separate gripe of mine]) is something I usually find detrimental to my enjoyment of an album.

Bookended by two songs of ambient, eerie and minimalist synthesizer, the real meat of the record lies between tracks two and seven.  Within these tracks lies a pretty good depressive black metal album that exudes plenty of raw emotion, competent execution, good songwriting and true black metal darkness.

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