Review Summary: Humble beginnings? Faltering footsteps? Neither can be found here. Mol's first two EPs are as creative and accessibly visceral as anything off the band's debut full-length.
Even before Jord
was released, Mol were making a considerably big name for themselves. The enigmatic live performances and the near flawless "Bruma" (accompanied by a music video) ensured that the Danish blackgaze group were heading for pretty big things. Indeed, Holy Roar was also on the verge of being catapulted into the top metal record labels in the world, and it was already on an upwards trajectory thanks to homegrown talent such as Employed to Serve and Rolo Tomassi. Yet even if Jord
wasn't necessarily groundbreaking or "new", for want of a better descriptive, it still showcased visceral energy and a passionate performance that fans of all sub-genres of extreme metal could enjoy.
Mol certainly had beginnings however, just like every band. Recently the band's first two EPs have been meshed into one mini-album, and every song sounds as glorious and creative as anything heard on Jord
. From the get-go, that same expressive creativity is prevalent in songs as powerful as "Sundrowned" and "Airy", both indulging in wispy atmosphere whilst at the same time producing a barrage of some of the heaviest riff work known in the band's repertoire. There are even shades of other influences here and there, moments in "Sundrowned" proving a reminder of post-hardcore at its more belligerent and emotional, and then again in the more straightforward "Atacama" where most of the song is simple flow through screams and post-punk.
However, even with these two EPs, there are sonic towering crescendos. The two six-minute opuses, "Makhachkala" and "Kathexis" are both explorative songs with plenty of variety but are also quite different compared to one another. The former heads straight for the bullseye with its traditional black metal influence at the start opening up vicious riff work, before its quickening pace is slowed down thanks to a brief albeit beautiful breakdown into one-note territory. After which comes an even more explosive force before the song eventually opens up into symphonic territory, already providing shades of the band at their most accessible. "Kathexis", on the other hand, is more of a build-up but with the same aspects of the band's trademark sound fully intact. There's more focus on melody and atmosphere, but in now way does this mean that the musicianship takes a back seat. Rather, everything is so well-placed that the instruments provide harmony on the backdrop of softer, more shoegaze-inspired harmonies. It's more of an adventurous and admittedly experimental affair, but ambitious for a band who had only been together for a couple of years when writing this song.
is more of the same if you compared it to Jord
except with slightly lower production values and a few more outside influences. But this isn't a bad thing at all, because listening to every one of these six songs soundly confirms that Mol were something special from the start. As stated earlier in the review, they were already a powerhouse before the band's debut album was even released, and Holy Roar made sure of that when racking up 95000 views for "Bruma". That said, it's always nice to hear a band's beginnings, but to then realise that they were writing quality music from pretty much the start of their musical career is even better.