Moloch makes it clear where their allegiances lie: firmly within the world of Burzum-style lo-fi black metal. A number of things make this clear, from the use of runes as song titles and the album cover’s dark forest illustration to a monstrous discography that stretches back over a decade and is absurdly prolific. In fact, merely calling it “prolific” doesn’t really do it justice with its eleven full-lengths, forty-plus splits, and more demos, compilation appearances, retrospectives, and EPs than I care to count. Of course, up until 2014 and including this album, all of this was done by one individual in Sergiy Fjordsson, as has become the norm for the lo-fi spectrum of the genre. The music itself comes as no surprise as minimalist “dungeon synth” ambient is interspersed with a few moments of orthodox black metal which, if you don’t count the last track, is about half the album. Die Isolation comes from a time when projects such as Mortiis and Wongraven held synth up as being just as—if not more important than—the guitars.
The album’s black metal elements are of the raw variety, with a heavily distorted guitar and screeching vocals that are simply painful. Even though the vocals are quite similar to modern bands that people enjoy (think Ghost Bath or Yellow Eyes), something about Die Isolation is undeniably different. It is rooted firmly in a tradition of simplicity and a focus on emotion over technicality; even though someone would have to enjoy the high-pitched screaming vocal style to appreciate any of the aforementioned bands, Moloch has a traditional aesthetic that is reflected in the music and how the music is presented. Of course, this approach has shown itself to have age-old limitations: The production is purposely poor, the drums are hardly audible, and the guitar performance sounds almost entirely like the same buzzing noise going on and on throughout all nine tracks. That is the nature of the orthodox strain of black metal, however; it is not concerned with technicality or reaching wider audiences.
Die Isolation is a re-release of Isolation Der Essenez, with a few bonus tracks to make it more of a complete album, though the final meandering twenty-one-minute ambient piece at the end could have been cut short. Going on for that length of time and appearing at the tail-end of the album, its simplicity and repetition make it a track that is ultimately easily forgettable. Despite the strong vocals and appealing, known genre-specific qualities, not enough substance exists on Die Isolation to make it stick out, but if you seek what is familiar then this will fit nicely into your collection of obscure ambient DSBM.
01) Das Uralte verweilt dazwischen
02) Depressive Visionen eines sterbenden Horizonts
03) Sterben unter der Blässe der Unvermeidlichkeit
04) Die letzten Strahlen der Sonne verblassen in der Kälte der Apathie
05) Wo der Winter unaufhörlich schlägt
06) Das Leben ist wie ein verwundeter Vogel der langsam vom Himmel fällt
09) Abgrund meines Wesenz
Written by: Patrick Bertlein
Cold Spring (United Kingdom) / CSR210CD / CD
Desire (France) / DSR111LP / 12″ LP, Digital
An Out Recordings (United States) / AOR021 / Tape, Digital
Independent (Ukraine) / None / Digital
Depressive Black Metal / Dark Ambient / Dungeon Synth