This year between the returns of post-rock titans like Godspeed and the highly anticipated records from Rosetta and Caspian, it’s easy to let some less publicized records go unnoticed. Fear not however, cause here at the AD mansion, we are as alert about the year’s most hyped and highly-anticipated releases as we are about the smaller ones, and nothing ever flies under our radar.
So, if you ever find yourself overwhelmed by this flood of new music, be sure to check back on Arctic Drones for the best and tastiest new releases of the month. This month Arctic Drones is proud to bring you yet another exclusive stream: Moloken’s All Is Left To See.
Hailing from Sweden, Moloken return on the scene after 2011 “Rural”. All Is Left To See is the band’s third album and like its predecessor is a crushing mix of doom, sludge and atmospheric metal with a pinch of post-hardcore. These are, according to Kristoffer (vocals and guitars), the main genres that influenced the record. If you’re a fan of the heavier side of the spectrum of atmospheric metal, then this is the record for you. Positioning itself between travel companion and soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic flick, All Is Left To See is the first instalment of a virtual trilogy inside the mind’s darkest and scariest sides. We can only agree with him and wait for the second and third chapter.
In the meantime listen to this beast of an album and read the full interview below:
What is the background info we should know about All is Left to See? Did you guys have this specific idea when you approached the record?
Kristoffer: Hey man, thank you for having us and really glad you enjoyed the album. Well ‘All Is Left To See’ is the first album of three in a concept called Mörkrets Kärna. It was conceived with the mindset of how you perceive a movie, structured with a obvious beginning, middle and an ending so that the album stands on its own. But since there are two more records to this story, it also needs to work as an introduction of the trilogy as a whole. The background to these records is based around the lyrical concept dealing with the journey to understand the darkness you are forced to handle when your fellow man drag you into a deep pit as things go horrible wrong. And misery does love company.
My first impression was that this record was heavier than your older ones. Am I right or wrong?
K: Yeah you are right, when we recorded at Tonteknik studios, Pelle Henricsson took out the heaviest in us production wise, as it felt as the natural interpretation of the material we had.
Not only heavier but “grimier”, darker. I also noted a more distinct black metal influence (I can’t hear you reminded me a lot of Satyricon) on this one, but also hardcore and crust. Does that reflect the kind of music you’ve listened to or simply the broad spectrum of genres you like to play with?
K: Well, both actually. We are all more or less raised by listening to all kinds of metal since that was really big here in Sweden when all were young in the 90’s. And as we grew older we obviously embraced all kinds of music both more extreme and progressive but also less extreme and simple. And in the context of working with this album, we wanted to evoke all kinds of emotions to follow the mood and story of the lyrics. So we pushed all the buttons, which can maybe make the songs seem like they to come from different musical directions but it worked great together, and that all that matters.
The songs have also gotten considerably shorter and more “direct”. Are there any reasons for that or it just kind of happened?
K: Well, both here as well. We had finished Seventh Circle early on and it became the song to centre the other material around. Since we were focused in telling a story it was easier to approach the idea to work with shorter and different kind of songs that worked well as a part of the puzzle, and not just our ordinary drum, bass and guitar oriented songs that stands on it’s own. So this album gave us the opportunity try many of these ideas head on which has been very rewarding.
Your last record, Rural came out in 2011. What has changed since then?
K: I feel we are much more in control what we want to deliver to our audience as well as what we get out of it as creators. We have an even greater companionship within the band and I feel we are now more than ever working towards the same goal. Rural was such an intense experience both writing and recording it. Musically it is all over the place but without any real control, which drained us in a way. So afterwards we needed to sit down and discussed what path we should set our foot on next. And I can’t be happier where we are right now. So in many ways Rural forced us to grow together as a band become more focused on how we want to present ourselves via our music.
What do you expect from this record?
K: I believe this album has a great potential to reach even out more than our previous records has because of the direct power in the songs and how we have conducted the album structure in general. By the acknowledgement we have received so far it seems that we are more understood now then ever, which I think most artists strive for, to be understood. So hopefully it leads to the opportunity for us to do this on a more professional level. Doing more tours and be able to work more even more closely to our music.
How do you see the European and Swedish metal scene at the moment? (sorry, bands usually hate this one, but I have to ask it).
K: Well, quite stale and doll actually. And its all about the money which in this case seems to kill the real passion for the music. Talking about bands there are obviously a few really great bands out there trying to be original and pushing music further by playing from the heart. But honestly the metal scene as any other scene is so trend sensitive, and right now most bands just seems like they are doing this tribute thing. Copying their favourite band/bands instead of just being inspired or influenced by them to make their own thing, and needless to say, that is so fucking boring. So as always you need to look beyond mainstream stage to find the real gems. Because they are often hidden in the underground and/or DIY scene where there is no money but a lot of passion and heart. And it takes much longer for those hidden gems to find their way on to the bigger stages.
Last but not least, thanks to Moloken and Magnus from Creative Eclipse for making this premiere possible. We hope you’ll enjoy it just as much as we did!