Mar 31, 2012

HEADS UP: Mollusk - Mollusk ...

Pact Ink Records have released the début from a new Cincinnati band called Mollusk. The band features two former members of Sabre.  The album will be a limited cassette only release and will be co-released in a joint effort with Bastard Sloth Records.  The album was released digitally in November 2011 and is now available on cassette. When listening to these nine tracks; the first thing that hit me was the amount of different musical textures and layers. This album is diverse in as much as it doesn't stick to any one formula although it is truly a doomed-out sludge metal album but I am hard pressed to find any other band that really sounds like this exactly.

What is unique is the guitar attacks while keeping a kind of appalling beauty within its sound; it bludgeon's the listener with its attack and power but it also has subtle methods of persuasion. Changes occur while you are not really aware of it and if you can make odd time/tempo switches and still be very catchy and assessable, you have something happening and Mollusk have it.

Out of the nine tracks, there are no weak moments and certainly nothing that comes close to a serious misstep. From the opening intro passage 'Mirrored Sphere' to the closing 'The Apathetic' this mini- album/EP is very captivating for all of its 23 plus minutes. Yes, it is short, too short really but that makes it impossible to get bored by any of this. Personal highlights are 'Endless Mountains,' 'Tides,' and 'Monuments' but I could easily call the entire release a "highlight."

The sludge-metal presented here is mostly slow with the odd exception being bursts of head-banging intensity that have a habit of coming on when least expected. The sludge is psychedelic in parts while pure unadulterated bleak doom in others and the bass and guitar sounds are beautiful yet nasty. The guitar for the most part is distorted with various levels of abrasive-ness and it complimented by a gorgeous bass sound that combined makes a wonderfully organic live feel.

The vocals are the weak link for me personally; they are insane, angry yells/screams and largely incomprehensible so they don't add a hell of a lot to the songs. Musically, however this is great and almost flawless. This self-titled release is a bit too short to give any futuristic prediction about where the band might go next but this is worth getting your hands on. Engaging stuff from Mollusk.....8.5/10

Pact Ink Records

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