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Molten: Dystopian Syndrome

When 2020 started, hardly anyone could have imagined just how strange things would get. Now that we’re in 2021, we’re discovering that strangeness is not only possible, but that it tends to linger, like an unwelcome guest. Making it worse, the new year was just a few days old when another round of political violence started up and all of our fears grew worse.

Although music won’t necessarily solve our problems, it can take our minds off of things for a little while. One of the albums that should do the trick is Molton’s Dystopian Syndrome, an impressive debut that seamlessly blends elements of death, thrash, doom, and black metal. As I listened to this album, I felt like I was discovering a new and exciting voice in extreme metal. Molten isn’t reinventing the genre but they are playing with the familiar in ways that maintain its sense of excitement and energy while also having fun with it. It’s fair to say this album has something for everyone. There are acoustic passages, melancholy melodies, blistering solos, growled vocals, and even a possible zombie apocalypse. Speaking of the latter, this band made a mini horror movie and music video for “Zombie’s Curse” that is definitely worth checking out. The song is a good one and the premise is very timely: a vaccine for a raging plague is turning people into zombies. Just when we thought things couldn’t get worse!

“Zombie’s Curse” will probably draw the lion’s share of interest for this album, but that would be a mistake. Don’t get me wrong; the song is awesome (it even has a bass solo) but if that’s all people focus on, they’ll miss impressive tracks like “Virulence,” “Holy Macabre,” or “On Through Phlegethon.” At times, this album reminded me of Iron Maiden’s own classic debut album. Yes, I know the two bands are not all that much alike, but if you listen to this album, you might hear what I’m hearing: a band that is still finding their footing but is confident enough in what they’re doing to put out a powerful, raw, and striking debut. As I listened to this album, I felt a sense of discovery that kept me interested. Just listen to the bass line in “The Void,” the mellow closing to “On Through Phlegethon,” or the deceptively calm opening to “Rising Embers.” You could also listen to the album just to hear all the band’s influences, most of which they wear lovingly on their sleeves.

This is a powerful and impressive debut from a band with a bright future. Come for the zombies but stay for the deep cuts. Highly recommended.

Track Listing:
1. Shadows in Quarantine
2. Virulence
3. Dystopian Syndrome
4. Un Sepulcro De Honor
5. Holy Macabre
6. Zombie’s Curse
7. On Through Phlegethon
8. The Void
9. Rising Embers

Added: February 21st 2021
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 530
Language: english

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