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Experimental/Post Metal • Sweden

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Moloken biography
MOLOKEN are a sludge/post metal band, formed in Umeå, Sweden in the autumn of 2007, starting at first as a side-project of Kristoffer BÄCKSTRÖM (guitars, vocals), singer and bass player in the hardcore band THE POOKIE SYNDROME. After a rough tape recording named 'Six Songs of Happiness' with a temporary line-up (Markus L on drums and Dag F. on vocals), a complete line-up was soon after formed with Jakob BURSTEDT (drums), Johan ÖMAN (guitars) and Kristoffer's brother, Nicklas BÄCKSTRÖM (vocals, bass). Their debut EP 'We All Face the Dark Alone' was released in August 2008 to positive reviews from critics and the underground scene, with the band playing several shows across Sweden. Their first full-length release came in September 2009 entitled 'Our Astral Circle'. 2009 also saw the departure of Johan ÖMAN and his replacement by Patrik YLMEFORS. Through to 2011, the band plays several shows in Scandinavia and continental Europe and in November 2011 they release their second album 'Rural' through Discouraged Records (as for all their previous releases).

The band describes their music as being influenced by the 90's death/doom and black metal era together with 70's progressive rock. Their sound is similar to modern post/sludge metal but with occasional extreme and fast passages, blended with hardcore and atmospheric metal.

Biography by aapatsos

Moloken official website

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MOLOKEN Videos (YouTube and more)

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All is Left too SeeAll is Left too See
Temple of Torturous 2015
Audio CD$7.47
$7.88 (used)
Rural by MolokenRural by Moloken
Audio CD$104.08
Our Astral Circle by MolokenOur Astral Circle by Moloken
Audio CD$56.30
All is Left to SeeAll is Left to See
Temple of Torturous 2016
$15.23 (used)
Imports 2015
Audio CD$16.74
$97.99 (used)
Our Astral CircleOur Astral Circle
Audio CD$13.19
$14.13 (used)
We All Face the Dark AloneWe All Face the Dark Alone
Sound Pollution 2015
Audio CD$9.72
$63.99 (used)
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MOLOKEN discography

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MOLOKEN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Our Astral Circle
4.43 | 6 ratings

MOLOKEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MOLOKEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MOLOKEN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MOLOKEN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
We All Face the Dark Alone
3.00 | 2 ratings
All Is Left To See


Showing last 10 reviews only
 All Is Left To See by MOLOKEN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2015
3.00 | 2 ratings

All Is Left To See
Moloken Experimental/Post Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

3 stars Formed in Umeå, Sweden, in 2007, Moloken want to create progressive experimental music that has a basis in metal, particularly the black metal scene. I was a massive fan of Rakoth when I first heard them many years ago, and both bands have a similar approach to their music. Here though, we have quite a short album, which was their first release in four years when it came out in 2015. Comprised of eight songs with a total length of less than half an hour, three of these are themselves shorter than 90 seconds, with one of these less than a minute. What is amazing then, is the amount of emotion that they manage to cram into everything they do. The vocals are raw, and kept surprisingly low in the mix, so that the twin guitars of Kristoffer Bäckström and Patrik Ylmefors are at the front, with the rhythm section of Jakob Burstedt and Nicklas Bäckström right there in your face. It is raw yet polished, basic but intelligent, and is always hammering into the brain with a feeling of ice and power. Just playing this album makes me feel cold, although as I write this I am in the middle of a Southern Hemisphere summer. I look out at the evening bright sunshine, yet am chilled to the bone.

This is powerful stuff, and it is only by playing close attention that the listener gets the most out of it. In some ways, it would be incredibly easy to dismiss this as "just" another black metal album with ideas above its' station. But listen to the complexity of the arrangements, especially to the drummer's polyrhythms and shuffles, and one realises that this is quite a piece of work. But are we going to have to wait four years until the next one? I hope not

 All Is Left To See by MOLOKEN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2015
3.00 | 2 ratings

All Is Left To See
Moloken Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "All Is Left to See" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Swedish sludge/post metal act Moloken. The album was released through Temple of Torturous in October 2015. Moloken was formed in 2007 and released their debut full-length studio album "Our Astral Circle" in 2009. "All Is Left to See" was preceeded by "Rural" from 2011.

Stylistically the music on "All Is Left to See" is still situated in atmospheric sludge/post metal territory, like the case also was on the predecessor. "All Is Left to See" is slightly different from what the band has released before though, as it's a pretty short release featuring only 8 tracks and a full playing time of 29:12 minutes. That in itself isn't necessarily strange or an issue, but when you learn that 3 out of those 8 tracks are short interludes, it becomes a bit more of a topic. Add to that, that the closing track "Beginning of the End" is a quiet, melancholic, and atmospheric instrumental featuring a lead violin, the album in reality only features 4 "regular" length sludge/post metal tracks. Again that's not necessarily an issue if the short interlude tracks and the atmospheric closing track added something special to the flow of the album, but other than "Beginning of the End", which is actually a beautiful way of closing an album, the other short interludes work more as distractions than enhancements of the album flow. Harsh put it's like the band had some half-finished ideas, that they ended up using as fillers, because of lack of original material to put on the album. A bit of a shame really, because all 4 "regular" tracks are pretty great atmospheric sludge/post metal.

The sound production is raw, powerful, and detailed, and suits the music well. The musicianship is on a high level on all posts. I especially noticed the drumming which is quite memorable. The vocals are well performed aggressive shouting. So there are redeeming factors involved when coming to a conclusion regarding a rating for "All Is Left to See". I can safely say I was more content with "Rural (2011)" and that I find "All Is Left to See" too fragmented and lacking direction, but on the other hand, it's obvious that Moloken are on to something great. It's just the way they've opted to present it this time around which doesn't work that well. So a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is still deserved.

 Rural by MOLOKEN album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.43 | 6 ratings

Moloken Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 'Rural' - Moloken (9/10)

As if Gorguts met Isis for lunch and the two later casually partook in rough coitus, Sweden's Moloken make some heavy, heavy music. Call it progressive sludge metal or even an incredibly atmospheric derivative of death metal, the band's second record "Rural" is an oppressive sea of fury, and it resonates with me in a way few bands of its style manage to do. The songwriting may be solid and the production some of the best I've seen in metal, but it's the ubiquitous atmosphere that has this album screaming 'masterpiece'.

In their press kit and interviews, Moloken have voiced a concern that all too many bands in metal ultimately sound indistinguishable from one another; a bleak statement I have sadly come to agree with. True enough, Moloken's resistance from this heavy metal clone complex pays off. Although their dark brand of post-metal can still find itself associated with a number of prescribed genres, "Rural" feels like a natural collision of influences from across the spectrum, from black and doom metal to vintage psychedelia. The closest thing I might compare "Rural" to are Gorguts' "Obscura" and "From Wisdom To Hate" albums. The Bäckström brothers' aggressive screams and the highly dissonant guitar riffing is reminiscent of Gorguts, although the compositions are more akin to traditionally atmospheric post-metal like Cult of Luna.

As a whole "Rural" relies on a sickening atmosphere of rage and fear. Although Moloken sticks exclusively to their guitars, drums, and vocals, the music sounds vast. "The Titan Above Us" introduces the sinister mood that pervades the majority of the album. By the epic cornerstone "Ulv", Moloken have developed their riff energy into a dense fury complete with burstfire picking and blast beats plucked out of black metal canon. All the while, Moloken layer their music with atonal psychedelic clean guitars that sound similar to some of Mastodon's more progressive material. The band's style will certainly draw a number of comparisons with other bands, but Moloken combine the elements and make the sound truly their own.

Although it's not the biggest reason why "Rural" has stood out to me so much, it's worth mentioning that Moloken enjoy some of the richest, most organic production I have heard on a metal record for quite some time. Perhaps it's the heavy presence of the bass guitar, but Moloken find an incredible balance between a live 'raw' energy, and a clear mix between instruments. It certainly doesn't hurt that Moloken channel their atmosphere-laden heaviness through such an organic studio execution. Those willing to set the time aside to fairly digest the atmosphere will find an incredible world to explore with "Rural", one governed by anger and chaos. I give my highest recommendation.

 Rural by MOLOKEN album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.43 | 6 ratings

Moloken Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Rural" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Swedish Atmospheric Sludge Metal/Post- Hardcore act Moloken. The album was released through Discouraged Records in November 2011. Moloken hail from the small city of Holmsund, which serves as a port for Umeå (the city that spawned Meshuggah). holmsund/Umeå are situated in the northern part of Sweden.

...I guess the geography lesson is meant to portray why Moloken´s music is so dark and oppressive. There´s just something unique about those people coming from the northern part of Scandinavia. A bleak melancholic mood that Moloken successfully transfer to their music. Moloken play a blend of atmospheric sludge and post metal/hardcore. Acts like Neurosis and especially fellow Swedes Breach come to mind. The vocals are harsh and shouting but with an additional howling tone that reminds me slightly of how Luc Lemay sounded on "Obscura (1998)" by Gorguts. This is of course not death metal but the vocals are pretty extreme (to my great enjoyment).

There are seven tracks on the 52:14 minutes long album. All high quality material. The tempo is slow- mid paced with good variation. The tracks are generally structually challenging and it´s no surprise that the 16:23 minutes long centerpiece of the album titled "Ulv" takes the prize as the most progressively structured track. While most of the album is dark, chaotic, twisted and aggressive, "Rural" closes with "Åland" which is a mellow and atmospheric post rock track. A good choice for variation, which also gives the listener time to reflect over what he/she has just listened to. The way a tracklist is build, is a crucial ingredient of any successful album release and "Rural" features a really nice flow. Add to that an organic and powerful sound production and there´s little here to complain about.

..."Rural" has actually impressed me a lot more than my initial listen suggested, and I´ve ended up really enjoying the album. it´s dark, chaotic, aggressive, challenging and upon repeated spins some original elements have also revealed themselves. A 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

Thanks to aapatsos for the artist addition.

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