This third album from Swedish progressive experimentalists Moloken is as dark and claustrophobic as its subject matter. Four years after the release of their last opus magnus, ‘Rural’, ‘All Is Left To See’ is the first in a trilogy of albums based around a lyrical concept called ‘Mörkrets Kärna’, which in turn about falling down a pit of your darkest being, losing yourself completely and desperately trying to make sense of it.
Given the deep sense of sorrow and malignant depression which permeates ‘All Is Left..’, it seems surprising that Moloken managed to summon both the physical and spiritual strength to complete this album, never mind embark on a three-step journey through the metaphysical landscape which it and it’s duotych of successors will explore.
Drawing on the rich vein of musical influences such as Cult Of Luna and Isis, as well as the Unholy Trinity of ‘The Peaceville Three’ (Anathema, My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost), ‘All Is Left..’ is a densely crafted album which weaves mysterious and mystical soundscapes which entrance the listener right from the opening, breathless chant of ‘Subliminal Hymns’ and draws you into its dark yet warm embrace. Treading a (very) fine line between death and doom with aplomb, its ambition is clear in the depth of the harmonic patterns which it weaves, and you can feel the personal turmoil which produced it swelling from its grooves. Texture builds upon texture as the album equally spits with fury and seethes with intense determination.
My only – highly personal – quibble is with the vocals, which often distract from the beauty of the musicianship behind them; it would be interesting to hear a completely instrumental version of the album to see if that would be any more impactful. Nevertheless, a beautifully and precisely crafted album.
Track list: Seventh Circle
Subliminal Hymns / All Is Left To See / I Can’t Hear You / Burst / Seventh Circle / Wreckage / I Dig Deeper / Beginning Of The End
‘All Is Left To See’ is released via Temple Of Torturous on Monday (September 19).