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Moloken Rural album cover
4.40 | 7 ratings | 2 reviews | 29% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Titan Above Us (06:29)
2. Waltz of Despair (08:37)
3. Casus (03:25)
4. Blank Point (04:27)
5. Ulv (16:23)
6. Thin Line (08:13)
7. Åland (04:40)

Total Time 52:14

Line-up / Musicians

- Kristoffer Bäckström / Guitar & Vocals
- Nicklas Bäckström / Bass & Vocals
- Jakob Burstedt / Drums
- Patrik Ylmefors / Guitar

Releases information

CD, Discouraged Records 2011

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MOLOKEN Rural ratings distribution

(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MOLOKEN Rural reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

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.

Review by Conor Fynes
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.

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