The Moth Gatherer – A Bright Celestial Light (Agonia Records)Friday, 3rd May 2013
Hey, no one remembers flopping around in the burst of post-metal bands circa 2007/2008 more than this guy. The mutations (or lack thereof) and permutations were at best, lackluster, then Isis decides to fold, Cult of Luna goes off the creative deep end, and Pelican forgets how to rock. A decided triple whammy, eh? Truth is, the top was already cut off this style by the above-mentioned bands, and Ghost Brigade, so we’re left with the side dishes, which more than likely include Sweden’s The Moth Gatherer, who on their A Bright Celestial Light emerge as a redeemable composite, not so much of a tailgunner.
Man, if “The Water That We All Come to Need” isn’t a would-be Isis or Pelican song title, than what is? Fittingly, there’s a cloaked melodic section that goes down around the middle, one that takes a chance on experimentation, while letting the sweet guitars hang out. Gruff vocals are in tow (like they always are), adding little personality, so it’s up to the dynamics to the dirty work. For the most part, they get the job done. “Intervention” has a nice laid back drop to it, “A Road of Gravel and Skulls” is the obligatory grit song that sounds like Cult of Luna when they want to be heavy, and “A Falling Deity” serves as the post-apocalyptic moment.
When taken as a whole, A Bright Celestial Light has more body to it, and is less of sound mooch ploy. But as you know, there are a lot of anal-retentive mo-fo’s jostling about, who will easily peg The Moth Gatherer’s lifted ideas to someone else. It’s fair and just, but doesn’t totally dismiss the album.