With a sound that submerges its listener into melancholy and darkness, Swedish outfit The Moth Gatherer's A Bright Celestial Light should appeal to anyone in the market for ominous, haunting, and often times beautiful sludge metal. The duo's 2013 debut consists of lengthy and highly atmospheric compositions that strike me as rather ambient and minimalist, but their sophisticated approach to the style makes for an album that is also quite detailed and complex. Although A Bright Celestial Light probably won't appeal to fans of more upbeat music, there's no denying that The Moth Gatherer has arrived with one of the year's most impressive journeys through the darker side of human emotion.
The Moth Gather's music borrows primarily from sludge metal and post metal; there are plenty of detours into pure post rock, electronic, and ambient territory for sure, but the core of the band's sound is raw, filthy-as-hell sludge metal. The heavy, droning riffs combined with the pummeling drumwork and shouted vocals make for quite an intense listen, though melodic tendencies and mellow (but still incredibly melancholic) sections pop up quite frequently. A Bright Celestial Light maintains an introverted atmosphere throughout its entire duration, and I think the album's ability to sound musically diverse while maintaining a consistent atmosphere is perhaps its greatest asset. The raw, spacey production is also noteworthy, as it almost gives the impression that the band is playing right in front of you. Pretty awesome, if you ask me.
Although A Bright Celestial Light's dynamic, aggressive, and melancholic nature means that more casual listeners may not appreciate its brilliance, anybody willing to dedicate some extra time to this one will undoubtedly be rewarded in the end. The Moth Gatherer has released one hell of a debut for sure, and fans of acts like Neurosis, The Ocean, and Cult of Luna won't want to miss it!
1. The Water That We All Come To Need
3. A Road Of Gravel And Skulls
4. The Womb, The Woe, The Woman
5. A Falling Deity