Album Review: MØL – Diorama (Nuclear Blast)
On November 5th, blackgaze masters MØL return with their eagerly awaited second studio album, Diorama, the group’s first for their new label Nuclear Blast Records.
MØL are an important band for me. Having stumbled upon them in 2018 with the release of Jord. It was a revelation in blackgaze and I was hooked. Naming that album, the best album of 2018 and still listening to it years later regularly. So, to say this follow up is much anticipated is an understatement but I’m not alone in feeling that.
We’ve all been waiting patiently for MØL to bring us the follow-up to Jord and finally we have it. Called Diorama, it is a fascinating listen because MØL could very easily have just done Jord Part II and most of us would have been happy… but they haven’t.
Oh, don’t be under any false illusion, this is still MØL and all the elements that makes them such a thrilling, emotive and captivating listen are still here. It’s just a developed and forward thinking MØL who aren’t afraid to experiment. Chances are, if you’ve heard the handful of singles released so far, you’ll understand what is meant by that.
The building gaze melody, eruption of blackened heaviness and frenzied instrumentation tinged with off-kilter distorted rhythm on opener Fraktur makes for a comfortable listen. MØL doing what they do best here and putting minds at ease when it comes to their trademark heaviness. Before the stunning Photophobic hits, its opening melody is up there as one of MØL’s finest.
A track centred around denial and self-deception. This is MØL at their darkest and coldest but still delivering a lesson in blackgaze. They truly are the masters and the chugging deep bits, the uplifting chorus and lighter female vocals prove their imaginations are brimming over.
Few bands could reach that high again but this is MØL and Serf proves to be one of their most rhythmically pleasing and enchantingly catchy tracks. All while having chunky riffing and vocalist Kim Song Sternkopf howling like a wounded animal.
Really hitting their stride, Vestige’s chorus and guitar driven depth is stunning. However, to hear Kim sing clean is the moment where many mouths will drop open. Whereas both Redacted and Itinerari serve to remind you that MØL are untouchable when it comes to delivering blackgaze beauty and heaviness. Both tracks once again showcasing the next stages of this band’s musical direction too. It’s a constantly fascinating experience and you genuinely never know just what might come next.
Talking of which… just short of 8-minutes, Tvesind is a gargantuan journey of harsher, coarser heaviness and spell-binding beauty that encapsulates what ‘gaze’ means. A lengthy drop into the charming world that MØL create. You won’t want to leave.
Alas, that has to happen but MØL are determined to make sure you depart with a happy grin as the title track sees them hit a melodramatic high. A track that features the majority of clean singing but has such an epic feel that it could only ever have been the finale.
What do you want me to say? You’ve read all of this. You know I freaking love this album and consider it more than a worthy follow-up to Jord. Stop reading and start listening to MØL. They really are this damn good.
MØL – Diorama Full Track Listing:
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MØL - Diorama (Nuclear Blast)
The Final Score - 10/10