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Album Review: MØL Diorama

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Denmark is an oftforgotten force in heavy music, but with Møl firmly at the forefront of their resurgence as a superpower in the genre, their creative surge is sure to catch more eyes. Even with in 2018 their debut Jord, it was clear that Møl meant business with an incredibly effervescent blend of post-black metal and blackgaze. What Jord set in motion has culminated in this year's Diorama, which has moved Møl up a division or two in both magnitude and quality.

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Mixing shoegaze and black metal isn't exactly new, with bands such as Alcest and Deafheaven capturing casual listeners. But even those juggernauts of the genre do not quite find the uncompromising balance of the two styles the same way Møl does.

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<p><i><span style=Diorama explodes with opener "Fraktur," and while black metal is definitely the dominant sound, the melody is undeniable. Møl know how to turn melancholic soundscapes into a blur of aggression and elegant melody. "Photophobic" is an absolutely captivating track rife with stunning atmospheric passages and an almost jubilant tone in the melodies. 

As the album progresses, it gains in heaviness and aggression. The deceptively calm opening of "Serf" will lull you into a false sense of security before the pummeling drums kick in about midway through the song. "Vestiage" has some clear Coheed & Cambria influence paired flawlessly with the shrieks of vocalist Kim Song Sternkopf.

The pairing of darkness with uplifting melodies continues on tracks like "Redacted" which pairs cleans with shrill black metal screeches and haunting, almost spoken word moments that veer into death metal. The layering on this album is nothing short of impressive.

"Itineri" is a more subdued moment in the album, allowing the listener to float along before being violently shoved back into brutality on "Tvesind." Title track and album closer "Diorama" is a hauntingly beautiful track, layering in enchanting female vocals, more hopeful melodies, and the aggressive styling of Sternkopf building in intensity for the perfect wrap up of the album.

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Not a single track on the album is overstated or overdone. The layering throughout will keep you actively engaged and curious throughout. On Diorama the band have pushed themselves further, and answered a question I didn't even know I had: can black metal be hopeful? Can black metal be something new and different and altogether inspiring? The answer is a resounding yes and for that Møl is one of metal's most talented, exciting and irresistible bands and 100% something everyone should keep their hands on.

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