Can there be beauty in suffering? Listening to the last record of the Swedish band The Moth Gatherer, one can say that yes, this is possible. The songs of their new album, named Esoteric Oppression, convey a sense of impotence, of discouragement, of broken dreams, but they are so poetical and emotional that you feel like you never have enough. This is one of those records that arrive at the end too quickly and you feel like this journey shall be done again, and again.
By the way, it’s not by chance that these are the main feeling that I’ve got from their music because actually the band was created with the exact purpose of translating into music the desperation and the sadness that everybody feels in front of an important loss.
The Moth Gatherer was founded in Stockholm in 2008 by Victor Wegeborn and Alex Stjernfeldt. They started The Moth Gatherer as a sort of therapy, a way to deal with the loss of people they loved and the hole it left behind. The Moth Gatherer was a way for Alex and Victor to move on.
About the name ”The Moth Gatherer” Alex commented in an interview: ”We went through some personal tragedies and felt like we were lost in darkness and we fumbled towards a source of light, just like moths. So the name The Moth Gatherer felt kind of fitting for us.”From the band’s Facebook page
Beyond the emotional aspect, the element which impressed me the most inEsoteric Oppression is the sense of musicality and fuidity that emerge from the songs. The album shows a fairly impressive melodic sensibility, and the band has achieved with the years the ability to re-manipulate the constituting building blocks of sludge and post-metal to produce something special, and original, even without having introduced nothing really new.
This is really one of those rare and exceptional cases in which a specific kind of music becomes really the way by which a band communicates emotions and inner feelings. Many groups, on the other hand, aim to play a given genre of music according to some stylistic dictates, but, in the end, they end up composing pieces that can be stylistically impeccable, but that are often cold and unattractive.
Musically speaking, the sound of the band is basically post-metal with many and relevant influences from doom and sludge. One of the more characteristic elements of the band’s style is the recourse to electronic sounds and drones, which are so beautifully balanced with the rest of the music that they enrich the overall atmospheres without taking away the attention of the listeners from the melodic development. As I already said, however, it’s not the introduction of new sounds or other kinds of innovations wich makes the music of Esoteric Oppression so nice, but rather it’s the perfect way they have put all the elements together. This is first-class post-metal. And one of the best works I’ve heard in recent times.
Another intriguing element of the LP is the contrast between the elegance of the sounds and the abrasive voice of Victor Wegeborn, which provides the album with a further enhancement in that sense of oppression that I mentioned before.
I really loved this album since the first played it in my stereo. I really recommend it to the wider family of lovers of good music, well beyond the perimeters of metal.
My overall rating of the LP is 8.5/10. It’s hard to say which are the best songs of the LP since I really liked all of them. If I should in any case give a special recommendation, I would mention the opening and closing tracks of the LP: The Drone Kingdom and Phosporescent Blight.
The Moth Gatherer are now featured in many playlists of those I’m curating on Spotify: TOTAL SLUDGE (the best and latest sludge metal songs), THE POST METAL RADAR (the best of post metal in 2019), and the succesfull playlist SLOWLY (the best of modern sludge, doom and post metal).