Review Summary: Now this is what I’m talking about.
A big reason I’m such a fan of Devin Townsend and all his eclectic projects not named Strapping Young Lad
is thanks to the man’s brilliant ear for sound. Most notably, the more muscle a project has the greater the ability to swallow the listener whole. It’s one of metals most enigmatic traits as well as one that isn’t often met with concern albeit; that wall of sound isn’t hiding something more interesting. With a frenetically heavy debut album Endlessly In Motion
, Moth immediately commands the spotlight as they trade tired but trendy Meshuggah
worship for a bold new take on progressive metal.
Quite simply, Moth are a marvel to behold. Right off the bat “The Structure” molds a dark atmosphere around a beautiful acoustic intro that grapples with ease. It’s a ride from there – understatement of the year – as the track seamlessly drops into a dazzling display of smooth bass work and a tight rhythm section handled solely by David O'Berry. But it’s the outro that sets apart Moth from their peers. Where others (read: Periphery
) would have murdered such a delicate break from the heavy with cheesy synth, presumably, Moth attack moments like these as if veterans of their craft merging a lush ambiance around a powerful vocal performance owed to Benton McKibben. It’s an opener like this that can make any fan of music cautious as they continue the disc. Such a strong introduction to a new band that seems to employ so many technical achievements and it’s not a stretch to wonder why someone would question what else Moth could possible answer. Follow up “Dissolved” answers this with resounding force as it climbs a peak so high it blurs the climax of the track as it continually escalates a tumultuous hook further from its origin.
“Vision” and “Reverse” play in the same manner, more or less, each defining different aspects of a band that seem to pull of any suit of music they so choose. From death metal to space-core Moth are limitless in their ideas and it’s this display of variety that affirms their position within the top of the progressive metal scene, and at the pace Moth keep they could start running away things. Note their blitzing through the few scattered chug sections - it’s refreshing; moments like those shouldn’t define a disc that should rest in the abilities of the members; with that ideal in hand the focal point is much more enjoyable while determining the music’s worth. The final two tracks is where this all comes together for a melting pot of success. Starting with the enigmatic near-instrumental piece “Drifting” as it, for lack of a better term, drifts into the closer, a dark piece that bends around a riff that lends aid to the lead guitars act of spider like leads. The track in no way tries to summarize the band’s sound. This is meant to be a forceful punctuation mark closing how the band arrived to these last five minutes.
Moth are not here to reinvent the wheel, but noticed it could use some polish. This is surely an off-putting aspect of the band to some but that’s make them so interesting to behold. Their knack for sound is inspiring to hear as no note is left unfilled in any given frame. So few times this year has a release absolutely floored me. With Endlessly In Motion
and its fierce eight song presentation of a dark space that maybe isn’t as beautiful
as it’s always cracked up to be, I’m content with the floor.