Review: “Mold” by Orelisk (3rd Anniversary)

A “debut demo devoted to the raw chaos of the old underground” which finds mastermind, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer Orelisk at the helm, “Mold” was the blueprint that made the album “The Underworld Obscura” which followed two years later possible. Featuring raw, warm production with darkness permeating each melodic arrangement, stories of doomed nomads, ancient beasts and unhinged minds served as vessels for the bleak soundscapes. Known for his prior convictions in Draudr (as Die Sueche), LanzerRath and formerly Undercroft, Orelisk is a resident of Traverse City, Michigan and describes his music as “the sight and sound of the ugly black metal tirade on all that is living“…

Despite being described as raw, “Mold” isn’t the kind of record that was recorded in a cave on a potato like some extreme Scandinavian Black Metal records, instead Orelisk has kept the drum sound primitive and muddy, overlaying melodic Black Metal guitars and interweaving throat grating vocals. Each of those elements combine to create a nightmarish sinister soundscape, the kind of thing that Wes Craven would have called the monster from underneath the bed. “Fallen Nameless” doesn’t reach blast beat territory until the three and a half minute mark, the focus on building an oppressive atmosphere in the first half well placed in creating an almost hypnotic trance inducing sound that calls to the void. “Leviathan” then follows, cut from the same cloth but with a deeper and more emotive melancholic air to it, never wavering in its homage to overlords of Northern Europe. Meandering like a warning of a forthcoming storm, this one is slightly unnerving with its bleak nature and lives up to the title it has been given. The melodic Black Metal leads of  “Splinters Of Shame” are like chinks of light shining through black clouds as they swarm overhead, adding a touch of vibrancy and warmth to an otherwise stark and cold hellscape. A formula unfurls its wings at this point with a final third rise in tempo to bring in a passage of blast beats something repeated from the earlier cuts but that’s not a bad thing as while each of these cuts surpasses the six minute mark, none outstays the welcome offered to them… [7/10]

Track Listing

1. Fallen Nameless
2. Leviathan
3. Splinters Of Shame

Mold” by Orelisk is out now and available over at bandcamp.

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