Moloken is a Swedish group that was founded in the late 2007. This CD is their second full-length album. I can't comment the lyrics or the visual side, since they weren't included within the digital promo.
I'm not familiar with the band's earlier works, but if they're as good as this one, I'll have to purchase them. The band's music is something like a nightmarish and desperate version of progressive rock; the songs have a jamming-like flow, but they're very rhythm-heavy and the overall sound is something like a mixture of modern death metal and harsher crust-sludge. A guitar and bass deliver heavy rhythms that are backed by nicely strong, even brutal but still groovy drumming, whilst an another guitar wanders amidst the rhythms creating ominous and dark melodies and discords. The fairly long songs operate on many levels and layers, yet the instrumentation falls to place on all aspects. The songs sounds very well rehearsed and composed, but each instrument has enough of free space to move and improvise in.
The vocals are hoarse and tormented shouts that might be a bit monotonal, but they're more of a supporting and an atmospheric element and as such they don't really bother the listening experience - at least not once you've gotten used to their dry sound. They breathe a feeling of human anguish in the songs, and although they seem "clumsy" and bare within the more freely flowing compositions, it is exactly why they need to be there.
Although the album remains heavy, harsh and dark throughout its length, there are some a bit lighter and more freely flowing moments and some purely violent blasting here and there to make sure that the listener won't have a reason to get bored. It is a relentless experience, though, since the oppressing and even depressive atmosphere carries through the 50 minutes. It works, no doubt, but I wouldn't mind if the band employed some stronger contrasts and a more flexible soundscape in the future to bring the compositions' versatility into the spotlight. The band has a clear vision and are more than skilled enough to deliver it; I'd just like to hear a more fresh, original and colourful version of it in the future, instead of a purely anguish-reliant one. Well, we'll see what the band's future will bring.
If you loathe or feel anguish, this is an album for you. It might kick you deeper into the pit, or to help you heal yourself.