Monday, 15 July 2019


By: Eeli Helin

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 07/06/19
Label: Holy Roar Recordings,
Deathwish Inc

”I/II” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Sundrowned
2. Airy
3. Makhachkala
4. Kathexis
5. Atacama
6. Rush

The Review:

Some great waves were put forth last year in the European shoegaze/post-metal scene, when the Danish quintet MØL released their debut album "Jord", through Holy Roar Records. Whenever a band like this comes along the way, a lot of people are eager to dive into their past, looking for any possible prior material. That seems to pay off on many occasions, since most bands today make their demos available through streaming sites, and usually release EP's or other smaller releases before tackling their first full-length. Same goes for MØL, who released their first two EP's in '14 and '15, first carrying the bands name and second being simply "II".  These EP's were then remastered and re-released as a compilation on June 7th through Holy Roar and Deathwish on vinyl, CD and digital formats.

Firstly, the bands style is extremely hard to put simply. The shoegaze/post-metal title in the first paragraph could also use the atmospheric black metal prefix, hence creating just another monster of a genre list for people too busy to actually listen to the music. That's also a tad problematic in today’s music scene; why everything has to be put to strict boxes, when people everywhere are encouraged to be and do what they want to do and not to care about external pressure and limitations? Well, this planet has a lot more work to do with that, so could we at least throw the genre cages to the garbage bin? Okay? Thank you.

Titled respectively as "I/II", the two EP's deserve to finally get a broader release. While you can argue all you want about the necessity of such thing because "digital this and digital that", the fact is that the music world is full of enthusiastic people that want the well-made, eye-pleasing physical copies of albums and that is perfectly fine. The key in having the tracks remastered is to boost up the atmosphere/clarity department and make the old work stand in line with the bands current one, and that's exactly what MØL has done with these EP's. It also has to be kept in mind that regardless of the additional polishing, the tracks themselves are still the old ones. So, the worst thing you should do is to expect any groundbreaking "wow" factors to appear anywhere, if you are already familiar with the old releases.

But the songs, they are good and have stood time better than most. The band also of course knows that, because they aren't exactly in a cash grab position that would "justify" digging up old demos and throwing them to their audience like scraps, which is something that bigger, bland and unimaginative acts tend do ever so often. Side A opens with "Sundrowned", the bands ignition. I personally wasn't aware of MØL before their full-lengths release, but it's easy to say in hindsight that their signature output was already present when they started out. The driving drum beat and painting distant guitars weave a beautiful web for you to coil. A lot of this bands essence has to do with creating mental landscapes through sound, and they excel in it. Similar patterns are vivid through the second track, "Airy". By similar, I mean by aesthetic. Both of these tracks you have to listen to multiple times until you get a grasp of what's happening, since they are overall as the second track suggests, very airy compositionally. The third song "Makhachkala" then again is where it's at. Starting with more black metal oriented feeling and blast beats until proceeding to clean passages, the track is the first longer one and goes to show how MØL thrives in a more ample setting, bouncing between the extremes.

Side B commences with "Kathexis", and early on it's clear that their songwriting somewhat matured between the creation of the second EP. The tracks still carry similar instrumentation, but all of them are more varied and structurally more interesting. Taking both releases into account, the following track "Atacama" shines the brightest. Taking a bit unexpected turns along its way, you'll also notice the aforementioned growth in their writing. The black metal-esque, high pitched howling vocals also have more raw emotion and feeling on this second half. You will get shivers from them, which only adds to the sense of completion you'll get from listening to this. The final track "Rush" doesn't offer any new angles to their output, but acts as a fitting closure for the release.

It's clear that these two releases are meant to be listened to as one entity, which is why this re-release is really fitting. Even if you heard "Jord" before these, you will still enjoy the tracks and won't get the "demo" feeling from them at any point. My only problem with "I/II" is the fact that it gets monotonous on times, which is something they managed to avoid better on their debut LP. Still, it's not a surprise that MØL caught Holy Roar's attention. Music like this doesn't come around that often, especially when speaking about the production side of things. Purists will whine and complain, but let them do that. In the end they're the ones missing out on everything.

I/II” is available HERE

Band info: facebook || bandcamp