It's rare to find a band who act as a sort of celebration of black metal, yet this is what Mo'ynoq seemingly attempt to do on Dreaming In A Dead Language. They have created something here that is grandiose and powerful, just a tad over the top and inherently bombastic. This is an album that seems to grow with every passing listen as I keep uncovering new swathes of influences and delving into newly unveiled twisted sonic landscapes. It's all put together with a clear sense of drive that makes it inherently fascinating too.
Though there are a diverse set of sounds represented it never feels like this is a hodgepodge of a record. Instead, this is the sort of transcendent black metal poetry that you can't help but admire if you are a fan of the genre and which will only serve to alienate you if you aren't already a devotee. This is definitely a record who knows who it is speaking too, but as one of those in the target audience, I find it deeply enjoyable and a stellar example of American black metal in 2019.
What really gets me about Dreaming In A Dead Language is how the band has so clearly done their homework and is invested in the history of the genre. There are touches of first wave black metal here but oftentimes in the same song, you will see them run headlong into something that feels like it could be on an Alcest record. They have put together a clear and overarching artistic vision of the sort that fascinates and brings you to new heights with every spin. Dreaming In A Dead Language is a mesmerizing release, an album that leaps from peak to peak and consistently points towards bleak sonic futures that you can't help but admire.
It ebbs and flows, suggesting the musical growth of these Raleigh, North Carolina natives is almost inevitable. That being said, by taking on such an ambitious project Mo'ynoq has in some ways overextended themselves. There are moments where the execution of a particular idea or the performance isn't quite where it needs to be, but that just leaves me exciting for what is going to come next from the band.
This all being said, this record sounds absolutely massive through and through. You can see the blood of the old gods coursing through these young musicians veins and the raw anger that they bring to the table on a track like "The Collector" is truly impressive. It hints at almost Lovecraftian realities and bleak soundscapes that those of us who have devoted our lives to black metal slaughter are going to love. It's in some ways a terrifying listen but in other ways a truly beautiful one.
Mo'ynoq have in one record been able to nobly distill forty years of black metal history into something that is potent and exciting. Dreaming In A Dead Language speaks to both the torture of this world and the sheer swagger that this genre was supposed to have in the first place. Strange things are happening in Raleigh, prepare for black metal warfare.