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Lovely - 80%

SmallPoxie, May 1st, 2021
Written based on this version: 2021, Digital, Transylvanian Recordings (Bandcamp)

42 minutes and 33 seconds. That's the length of the debut LP by American death/thrash outfit, Molten. This release comes 2 years after their debut release, which was an EP. This album has 9 tracks, 2 of them are instrumentals/intermissions. The band's name and that artwork was a good signal and I'm glad I didn't ignore this album because is really good.

First track is "Shadows in Quarantine" (really funny Molten, really funny). Is one of the 2 intermissions on this album, is a pretty good acoustic piece. But then comes "Virulence", a death/thrash attack that lasts 7 minutes. The fact that the song is that long and not boring at all is astounding. "Virulence" starts immediately with fast paced riffing and extreme drumming. We get 2 long and complex guitar solos at the start of the song, which come after a really thrashy riff, which also features an amazing growl. After all the noise, we get a beautiful interlude with clean guitars, shredding solos and slow drumming. After that, we go back to the extreme riffing and also blast beating. This song is "Master of Puppets" on steroids.

The other intermission is "Un Sepulcro de honor" ("A sepulcher of honor" in Spanish), which is another great acoustic piece. "Holy Macabre", "On through Phlegethon" and "The void" follow the path of a more progressive thrash metal sound while still mantaining the old school death/thrash sound which is pretty neat. And finally we got "Rising Embers", the longest track in the album. The song lasts 10 minutes and I thought that I was going to be filler but, it ended up being one of my favourite tracks. It starts with an amazing bass riff followed by a "progressive metal" style of riffing. After that, we return to the extremity of thrash. Just like in "Virulence", we have an amazing clean interlude featuring incredible soloing. This song is the most experimental of all tracks, it mixes thrash, death, black, doom, gothic and even progressive metal. The songs ends with a beautiful piano piece, really reminiscent of goth music.

All instruments shine through the album. The vocals are amazing, mixing echoed growls with filthy shrieks. The guitars are brilliant, solos everywhere, great clean parts, excellent riffing and it has the typical 80's thrash tone. It's also full of harmonics and unexpected melodies, for example in "Holy Macabre" we get a NWOBHM style of lead. The bass also plays an important role, this album is full of amazing bass riffs and leads. There are examples of this on "Virulence", "Holy Macabre", "The Void" and "Rising Embers". And the drums are astounding, a lot of creative rythms and experimentation with beats that are commonly used in other metal subgenres. In conclusion, a must listen!

Best tracks: Shadows in Quarantine, Virulence, Un Sepulcro de Honor, Holy Macabre, On Through Phlegethon, The Void, Rising Embers.
Worst track: Zombie's curse