MOLOKEN - Our Astral Circle

Moloken - Our Astral Circle

9 songs
54:00 minutes
***** ****


Last year Swedish newcomers Moloken made an impressive stand with their debut EP We All Face The Dark Alone that consisted of a single quarter hour long song. Aware that this had to be followed by something even grander, they must have been working really hard on their first longplayer Our Astral Circle which may not feature tracks that are as long, but still we get hardly any songs under four minutes, and the concluding 11”12 makes it narrowly over twelve minutes.

Stylistically not that much has changed with the Swedish quartet, except that they have learned to trim their songs to more sensible lengths which allows a more immediate access to their sound. This should not mean that Moloken have sold out. On the contrary: the nine tracks on Our Astral Circle are the grimmest possible post metal, usually opting for a crawling sound that highlights the excellent atmospheres created by the guitars, bass and drums. The vocals are accordingly full of despair, painting a sonic landscape that feels like drawn from your blackest nightmares.

Our Astral Circle may not redefine slo-mo metal, but its uncompromising approach should be reason enough to have fans of extreme downbeat music in utter ecstasy. Just like other Northern European bands like Cult Of Luna, Callisto,…, Moloken are more interested in creating sombre moods than just concocting a collection of thematically unrelated songs. The matt silver/black digipak with its aesthetic 16-pages booklet furthermore makes Our Astral Circle a record that every aficionado of gloomy metal should crave.

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