Sounds Like: The bastard offspring of My Bloody Valentine and the frozen north
For Fans Of: Deafheaven, Alcest, Oathbreaker
Listen To: Bruma
Since Deafheaven broke into the metal consciousness in 2013 with the hipster-baiting Sunbather, our world has been well aware of the burgeoning black metal/shoegaze scene that was bubbling under the surface for years. Sure, bands like Alcest had been experimenting with the hybrid genre long before, but now there’s a deluge of great bands mixing the two previously contrasting sounds.
“It’s playing metal in major,” jokes Kim Song, vocalist for Møl (Danish for moth). But this isn’t some namby-pamby pedalboard bollocks: the Aarhus five-piece are bringing serious bite and venom to the ethereality.
Kim joined Møl two and a half years ago, having known the band for years while working as a gig photographer – he even shot the band's first show. With two EPs already in the bank, Kim’s contribution as frontman and main lyricist has seen the band move into a “heavier” direction with new album Jord, as Kim himself comes from a death metal and hardcore background. But, of course, that hasn’t stopped kvlt purists decreeing the so-called blackgaze movement as not tr00 metal.
“There are traditionalists and people who like metal like it was in the ‘good old days’,” says Kim, “but it’s onstage where you can convince people with this music. It’s great on record, but ultimately most of us connect with the live experience and the ferocity, the epicness that you can display live with your body. People might not like this particular type of music, but they can have a great experience from it.”
This might sound like a refuge for hippies and those looking for a spiritual awakening, but Jord is steeped in bleakness. It tells tales of impermanence and humanity’s fleeting, futile existence against a background of expansive soundscapes and scorching vocals. Not one for gran’s birthday party then. Kim explains that this obsession with mortality and our own brevity comes from growing up in a country of seasonal changes, but also as a reaction to experiencing death and grief multiple times in his life.
“There are always ups and downs, there are people you look up to, but you find out they’re human and they fail you,” he says. “The quicker you accept that change will come, and how you position yourself to deal with that kind of situation, will make you get through the process faster and be happier about where you are.”
The idea of our own impermanence is at its strongest on standout track (and Kim’s favourite) Bruma, which bellows the foreboding, self-aware line: ‘Our glow will fade and die / Still we think ourselves timeless.’
“This song resonates a lot, especially in this day and age, about returning to something simple, something that’s not as hectic or as confusing as our world is. If you talk about judgement day, you can interpret that, but it ends pretty well in that sense of burning free. We’re all going to die eventually, so there is some memento mori.”
Alongside the changes in Kim’s life, there has been an evolution musically, as he sings in Danish for the first time on both Jord’s title-track and Vakuum (the rest being in English).
“The other guys had to convince me it was a good idea,” admits Kim. “It got much more personal in regards to the songwriting: when you sing in your native language it becomes a bit more real.”
But what spurred on the decision? Kim theorises that “when the world seems too scary” and the political landscape is in disarray, people re-find their roots and reconnect with what it means to be native. He says although he was originally against the idea, the lyrics to Jord just fit.
“The theme of the song is the burst of life that gets us up in the morning to go do stuff. But this thirst for something more can end up destroying you, it can be our downfall, it can be a motivator but it can be a sickness – it can be slavery to your soul if you’re not aware of the thirst taking control. This hunger can eventually destroy us.”
Jord is out now via Holy Roar and available to buy from Amazon.