Five years ago, heavy music circles all over went absolutely bananas for the black-metal-meets-shoegaze style of Deafheaven, with that band’s second LP, 2013’s Sunbather. Now in 2018, if there is any justice in this world, Denmark five-piece Møl should be heralded as the new standard for this genre. Because, quite simply, this band is the new benchmark for black metal as a whole.
This Danish group, while still a young act overall, already have two EPs to their name, and are just two weeks away from releasing their debut LP; the frankly incredible Jord. (Which lands April 13th via Holy Roar Records).
As I detailed in my own review for Kill Your Stereo last month, Jord is a stunning blackgaze record through and through, one that shows great care and thought for the band’s own crossover style as well as post-rock too, and it’s one of my favorite releases of 2018 no less. Yet of the album’s eight mammoth compositions, while they all impress greatly (especially “Vakuum”), one of the record’s strongest and most emotionally crippling moments arrives with the third song, “Bruma”.
Acting as the band’s latest single for their upcoming album, following the swirling haze and punishing tone of “Penumbra”, “Bruma” is a sheer master class of blackgaze. During the five-and-a-half-minutes of “Bruma”, Møl weave together layers of grim and uplifting instrumentals, deeply pained vocals and plenty of existential lyrical anguish as they conceptually rage against the ever-fleeting nature of time like grains of sand caught in a heavy wind.
In a recent joint statement from the band, they mentioned that, “‘Bruma’ is by far the darkest and most ominous track on Jord. Its narrative addresses our constant battle with the passing of time.” And they’re not wrong – not at all!
“…Still we think ourselves timeless”.
Low and distant gloomy guitars begin the track, as straight but soft time-keeping ride-cymbal hits accumulate below as a delay-driven octave melody rises above, all as this intro swells and swings hard into a truly stunning chorus that’s akin to an avalanche of sound bearing down upon you. From here, the band race through savage blast beats, rapid-fire tremolo picking, heavenly melodies, and these nearly-overbearing textures, all lead by vocalist Kim Song Sternkopf’s piercing howls, low gutturals, and devastating high shrieks that propel the track along wonderfully. The way the band superbly guide this track between its staggeringly high peaks and its sunken, cavernous troughs are overwhelming, creating an explosive piece of music that is a true journey to experience in full. Not unlike the parent record that “Bruma” exists within either.
“Bruma” is equal parts inviting and confronting, being both melodically beauty and chillingly destructive at the same time. Whether it’s the gorgeous reverberant melodic guitars that frequent the piece, the band’s keen ear for effective layers, atmospheric sensibilities and wondrous melodies, the constant swaying between light and dark, the floor-clearing blast beast sections, the palm-muted chugs that fire-off in the finale, or Sternkopf’s violent and gut-wrenching vocal performance; Møl’s powerful dynamic of quiet, restrained peace and utterly blistering panic is as immense as ever on “Bruma”. Again, it’s just one of many dizzying highpoints for Jord as a complete record too.
In the below music video for “Bruma”, production company Skipper Ib, actress Therese Ellehaven, and makeup/SFX artist Anna Wittus Johnsen help to bring Møl’s bleak, purgative vision of impermanence to timeless life with some amazing cinematography and haunting visuals.
Møl have also thankfully decided to keep their physical selves out of this new film clip entirely. Opting instead for a solely narrative-driven experience about finally letting go, all with their surreal blackgaze sound acting as its score. Which is exactly what makes this audio-visual piece of harsh yet dreamy black metal all the better.
We’ve added “Bruma” to our Spotify playlist: The Depth List: 2018.