Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hysteria - The Moth

Record label: This Charming Man

First things first, I'm old enough to remember when Def Leppard released Hysteria. Some of my heavy metal buddies went nuts over it. A year or so later I was mainly listening to The Smiths and thrash metal. Oddly this sludgy doomy German metal band who go under the handle of The Moth are signed to a record label called "This Charming Man". I don't know anything about their roster and wouldn't be surprised if they've signed bands from many different genres but there's no mistaking The Moth for anything other than a metal band.

There's a very loose metallic muddy sound to the album's title track which recalls early Celtic Frost vocally and instrumentally. There's a similar murky rawness in both the vocals and the playing. "Brachial" opens with an opening that sucks you into the pits of hell then it's clear that the band clearly don't like the likes of you and mess with you with a nearly poppy melody sung over a metallic drone. There's a hypnotic quality to the chanting in "Slow Your Pace" and the drums are hit with a precise loudness. The doom is turned up on eleven on "This Life". If My Dying Bride went for a raw sludge sound, they'd sound a lot like The Moth do on this track. There's a more than slight gothic tinge to the vocals. On "Blackness", the vocals take a turn in another direction and the vocalist sounds like a caveman chewing on a boulder. The instruments are loud and there is a punkish experimental element to this track although The Moth have their feet firmly set in the metal zone. The male/female vocals take a cue from anarchopunk bands.

"Loose" is what happens when someone gives a bulldozer a guitar and says play pop music. It's a stubbornly metallic tune. "Shattered" is reminiscent of High on Fire but The Moth are much looser in delivery. "Fail" has a lot of early Soundgarden running through it especially vocally although there is definitely a similar guitar sound. I also hear some noise rock like Killdozer attempting to break its way out of the shadowy metal into the light of day. Drone, sludge doom and noise rock fans will all derive enjoyment from The Moth's latest release but they are likely to confuse a lot of metal fans with their refusal to have a cookie cutter sound. It's certainly not easy listening.


Release Date: 10 November 2017

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