Written by: PP on 20/12/2021 16:32:15

Even if MØL had some international attention already on their debut album "Jord", you can now say that they've arrived with the release of sophomore album "Diorama" on Nuclear Blast. It's arguably one of the finest pieces of atmospheric black metal - or blackgaze - the world has heard in recent years, in some places even surpassing the best material by Deafheaven, so expect the band to enter into the international spotlight in the months following its release, especially as international touring resumes next year.

"Diorama" is a modern, extremely well-produced piece of black metal characterized by beautiful atmospherics and pitch-black shrieks juxtaposed against pummeling, yet melodic guitars. Although the stylistic base is firmly in black metal, MØL isn't afraid to push the envelope and utilize pop-sensibilities, resulting in brilliant songs like "Redacted" and "Vestige" drawing in equal measure from black metal shredding as they do from simpler melodies of post-metal and, to an extent even post-hardcore in places. These seed a soundscape that is not only hauntingly beautiful but remains razor-sharp in its expression thanks to vocalist Kim Song Sternkopf's piercing style.

On "Serf", MØL additionally works in back-chillingly melancholic riffs that carry subtle undertones of bands like Paradise Lost and Katatonia, encompassing the atmospherics in a sense of familiar nostalgia and simple but darn effective beauty throughout. Thanks to a crystal clear production, all elements in the soundscape are in perfect balance that does its part to help craft songs that feel catchy in the black metal realm. Hell, you could play any of the three aforementioned on mainstream radio without necessarily offending the audience, which is not something most black metal or even blackgaze bands can say with confidence.

Aside from these three centerpieces of the album, "Diorama" simply features awe-inspiring melodies throughout its playtime. A constant contrast between the heavy and the melodic is a magnificent showcase of MØL walking on a tightrope between the metal crowds and something bigger, careful not to alienate the former but expansive and aesthetic enough to raise curiosity in the latter. "Itinerari" even introduces a few melancholic clean vocals in the process to further arouse interest in this prospective audience. But regardless of which "Diorama" track you pick - be it "Tvesind" or "Photophobic", MØL's consistency is frightening. These blackgaze tracks are some of the best produced in the genre and will surely elevate MØL near the top of multiple end-of-year lists internationally this year. Breathtaking beauty like this isn't found too often.


Download: Serf, Vestige, Redacted, Tvesind
For the fans of: Deafheaven, Solbrud, Oathbreaker, Lantlôs
Listen: Facebook

Release date 05.11.2021
Nuclear Blast

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