Møl’s Riveting “Diorama” of Black Metal and Shoegaze (Interview)
On their last album, the critically acclaimed Jord, the Denmark blackgaze collective Møl showcased a dichotomy of chaotic black metal juxtaposed with the wondrous atmosphere commonly associated with shoegaze. The songs on the band’s latest release Diorama, their first for metal powerhouse Nuclear Blast, are no different, though this time completely fleshed out and totally beautiful in their complexity.
Listening to Møl weave in and out of chaos and elegance is completely engrossing; an absolutely breathtaking display of balance that the band clearly has fine-tuned over the course of a few years. If there was any fat on Jord, then Diorama is totally svelte and ready to take you on an emotionally stirring exercise, one that 2021 could use: a chaotically tragic experience without equal. Vocalist Kim Song Sternkopf mixes his spoken sections and black metal rasps between passages while his rhythm section bounces back and forth between My Bloody Valentine-styled wall of guitar sound to tremolo-picked barrages. It keeps the listener guessing throughout the relatively short run time, offering unexpectedly grand scale.
We sat down with guitarist Nicolai Hansen to discuss the state of touring, some of the band’s biggest influences, what makes their two albums different from one another, recent band favorites, and their favorite tour mates, among other things.
So how is everybody doing with the world in a state of flux?
Pretty good. Our lives are in a state of flux as well so we kind of fit the world theme. Also “Flux” by Bloc Party is amazing.
What has the time between releasing Jord and recording Diorama been like for the band?
It’s been very busy with the band in terms of touring and playing shows as well as in our personal lives. But it’s always exciting to enter an album cycle, so many awesome things to do and people to meet, so it’s quite the adventure.
What are some of the band’s biggest influences?
In writing this album I drew on a lot of different inspirations. I listened to a lot of Smashing Pumpkins, Alcest, and, one of my all time favourite bands from Denmark, Mew. Other bands include Gojira, Oathbreaker, and Mastodon.
Why the combination of shoegaze and black metal?
Because I think the work so well together. Although I wouldn’t necessarily say that we are inspired by black metal. I draw on a lot of different styles of metal when composing. But black metal is definitely capable of great beauty and I think that’s probably why I tend to gravitate towards that as opposed to other styles of metal.
What are some of your favorite 2021 releases?
Hushed and Grim by Mastodon gets a lot of playtime right now.
What do you have planned as band going forward after this album drops?
We have a lot of shows planned both in Denmark and abroad so we will spend a lot of time on that. Hopefully there will also be time for composing new music.
What differentiates Jord from Diorama?
In my opinion Diorama is a natural extension of JORD. It’s a progression and evolution from that record. Everything is accentuated more. The aggressiveness of JORD is more aggressive on Diorama. The same goes for the clean and ethereal parts.
Is the band’s sound a fluid situation? Or are you planning on staying consistent for future endeavors?
I Think evolution and change is a good thing and also necessary to stay relevant as a musician. Obviously it’s important that the music we are creating is something that is undeniably MØL. I definitely think we achieved this with the new record: both being able to change but also maintain what is MØL.
Where would you guys like to tour that you haven’t before?
We would love to tour the states and also down under.
Who are your favorite bands to tour with?
The Ghost Bath tour was super fun. They’re a great bunch of dudes and I hope we can do something with them again. I also really like the guys from Orbit Culture and Rivers of Nihil. Good guys all around.
Diorama released November 5th via Nuclear Blast.