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Moth Gatherer, The: The Earth is the Sky

It's too bad this album came out so close to the end of the year. I've already compiled my best-of list and am starting to think ahead to 2016 releases. But this album stood out to me so much that I have to say a few good things about it. I've listened to it several times over the last couple of days and I like it more and more with each listen. I especially enjoy discovering nuances that I missed earlier. The best things about this album, though, are the twists and turns of emotion, mood, atmosphere, and energy. Whatever we might call this band (Doom? Sludge? Post-metal?) the music on this album music ultimately rises above labels and becomes something all on its own. I find it simultaneously experimental, messy, confident, haunting, and sludgy. There are even synth-based elements here and there that I found perfectly suited to the aim and reach of the album as a whole. You get the idea.

Even though I especially enjoyed the range of sounds on display here, especially the ambient passages, I was completely caught off guard by the opening of "The Black Antlers," a track that surprised me so much that I had to start it over a couple of times. The guitars on "The Black Antlers" were just so dark, so rough, that I couldn't avoid them. I'm no stranger to heavy guitars, but they showed up here with all the brute force they could muster. As much as I loved that track musically, however, I didn't like the vocals. Sure, they echo the dark timbre of the guitar, but they were so guttural and disgusting that I felt like I was listening to someone talk to me after finishing a gut-busting vomiting spell. Even if not all of the twists and turns on this album are equally successful, this is a terrific new release. Be sure to check out the album art, a striking image of two skulls, one blue, and one green.

Track Listing:
1. Pale Explosions
2. Attacus Atlas
3. Probing the Descent of Man
4. Dyatlov Pass
5. The Black Antlers
6. In Awe Before the Rapture

Added: December 17th 2015
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1024
Language: english

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