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Bad,Too Bad - 2%

Olmomaster, October 30th, 2014

Moloch is a one man band from Ukraine and they have existed since 2002. Since 2004 when their first demo was released until now apart from the ten (!!!) full length albums, they have released many demos, split and EPs. Just as you will do so did I wonder how it is possible for a band and even more for a band which consists of one member, to be so creative… I listened to their music and I understood why. Let’s take it from the beginning. “Der Schein des schwärzesten Schnees” is the ninth album of Moloch that although it had been recorded since 2009, it finally was released in 2011 and it consists of eleven compositions of depressive black metal/ambient.

The tracks are mainly slow to mid tempo. The riffs don’t have any structure, they are reminiscent of drone, are monotonous, repetitive, boring and sometimes out of tempo. The guitars are so distorted and so loud that they become annoying. The drums, which in this album aren’t drum machine, just keep the rhythm without playing an important role in the tracks. Pretty good job has been done to the keyboards so that I can say that when there are no guitars, they create a very good atmosphere. Also heavy is the usage of samples of rain and other nature’s sounds but without adding anything to the compositions. The vocals vary depending on the track’s part, from harsh, desperate shrieks to spoken words. The vocals are expressive and in many parts can pass to the listener the musician’s sentiment. However the vocals and the keyboards alone can’t save the album. The production is clean but keeps the raw feeling of the compositions. The mix, excluding the annoying guitars which are much louder than they should be, is good. The lyrics, although the titles of the tracks are in German, are written in Ukrainian so I don’t understand about what they are.

As I wrote above the very few good elements can’t save the album alone. If the rest of this band’s albums are so as this one I really can understand how it is possible for Moloch to be so “creative”. That thing that I can’t understand is how it is possible to exist labels which release such albums. As a black metal fan, I didn’t like “Der Schein des schwärzesten Schnees” at all. Maybe a dark ambient/drone fan would appreciate it more since the black elements are very few. My advice is even not to get in trouble listening to it.

Der Schein Des Schwarzesten Schnees - 85%

The Sween, June 11th, 2011

Everyone of us have our own idea of what should be real music, and real art. Everyone has their own point of view, and will no doubt voice it one way or another. For me though, it's the sincerity of feelings and emotions used, that can make or break an album. Few people understand this better than the artist, the creator.

It's not surprising that in depressive black metal, so many people create this music independently and isolated. It's their emotions, their intimate world. Such is the work from this famous Ukrainian formation: Moloch. Der Schein Des Schwarzesten Schness shows the creative abilities and compositions of Pr.Sergiy, fully manifest themselves into slow, dark, long lasting and structurally complex passages. Yet always maintaining the characteristic style of Moloch.

In this album, these strains are demonstrated in full, with dense walls of guitar sounds, live drums, yes live drums from a 1-man project! Accompanied by shrieks and screams changing to clean spoken vocals. Keyboards are in tandem with the sounds of pouring rain, creating a rather impressive atmosphere of sadness and sorrow that envelopes this musical journey from the first minute until the last.

The suffering, depression, sadness, hopelessness and pain offered by Moloch is heavily felt by any listener who has not lost their liaison with nature (the album cover sets the mood perfectly). It clearly reflects the essence of this creation, and the ideas Pr.Sergiy is trying to convey. The lyrics, almost poetic are written in Ukrainian (recorded in 2009, this was the first Moloch album to execute Ukrainian lyrics, previously they were all in Russian).

As stated above, the vocals portrayed range from desperate screams to spoken words, I mention this as clean vocals (as of 2009) were not typical of Moloch albums, however they are an excellent addition. There is also change in the song writing, tracks are no longer fast and aggressive, but now carry much more depressing characteristics with a rich, moist sound. Especially the track Philosophie der Depression, for which a video was also filmed. Though the lyrics are Ukrainian, the actual track and album titles are German, as the author believes this is adequate to show their in-depth content.

Overall, a very unusual yet unique job, that treads new depressive paths, yet keeps some of the trademarked styles of Moloch. Which despite the similarities of this style, this album holds it's own identity, and shouldn't be so easily lost amongst other artists of this genre. Recommended to fans of: Burzum, Sterbend, Winter Funeral, Blood Red Fog, Abyssic Hate.