Molybaron’s singer and co-guitarist Gary Kelly has observed that critics do find it hard to decide whether the band’s music is rock or metal, and then if it’s prog or groove metal. “I believe it’s all of the above,” he says. He might have a point.
Dublin-born Kelly formed the group in Paris in 2014 with French guitarist Steven Andre, and the quartet – completed by bassist Sébastien de Saint-Angel and drummer Camille Greneron – came to notice with their self-titled debut LP in 2017. With Mastodon, Tool and Gojira among their influences they’re now signed to InsideOut, and their towering second album (originally released digitally in May, now reissued on CD) marks them out as a serious prospect.
The riffs are djent-tough and melodic, thick with twin-attack guitars and punctuated by some tasteful modern synths and effects. Grandiose and infectious, opener Animals sets out their stall with its bludgeoning, downtuned riff and Kelly’s sledgehammer voice belting out politically conscious lyrics (‘You know I don’t believe in science, I saw the proof on my iPhone screen/The leader tells us not to worry, it’s just a hoax by the Chinese’). Amongst The Boys And The Dead Flowers is an excoriating, sadly timely piece about the context in which soldiers can pay the ultimate price (‘Oh to the end of an empire, drowned in the dirt and the rain’). Other hot topics addressed include religious charlatans (Prosperity Gospel) and the pernicious side of online life (Slave To The Algorithm).
Kelly’s a charismatic performer with shades of System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian, and his strong production work makes this whole record sparkle. The band are high-calibre and the songwriting is solid – Twenty Four Hours’ riff is irresistible; Lucifer’s chorus is diabolically catchy. Regarding genre, at this early stage they’re perhaps more Megadeth than Mastodon, but The Mutiny is still a meaningful, full-blooded second record, one that confirms Molybaron as contenders with brawn and brains.