I am new to The Moth Gatherer so I had no preconceived notions about them going into “The Earth is the Sky.” There is so much depth to this album that having an open mind is critical. This is NOT background music at all. There are layers to this album and such diversity to the album as a whole. It covers so much ground, from the tranquil to the absolute violent.
The Moth Gatherer are at the heart a metal band but their understanding of dynamics sets them apart from the others. Quieter moments are essential because that is what makes the heavier moments sound so brutal.
The opener “Pale Explosions” is an extreme metal powerhouse of a song. It’s a slow and foreboding track with both clean and harsh vocals with a very strong riff. Like much of the album, “Pale Explosions” has it’s own twists and turns within it. I love the synths used during the gentler moments of the track. Even then, the guitar riffs are waiting to tear your head off. It reminds me a bit of the great Cult of Luna at times.
“Attacus Atlas” is another example of using dynamics of darkness and light, heavy and melodic to give a song additional power. This song sounds so huge. The production on “The Earth is the Sky” is quite robust. It needs to be since there’s so much going on from guitars to vocals to the synths that give songs their texture.
“Probing The Descent Of Man” starts out quite percussive using a thick wall of synths as a backdrop before the guitars and drums join in. It’s great that something so heavy can still sound LUSH. That’s another part of the magic of The Moth Gatherer. Speaking of lush synths, “Dyatlov Pass” sounds like it could be on “Perdition City” by Ulver. Perfect synth driven atmospheric music. “Perdition City” is my favorite album by Ulver so I LOVE this track. These two instrumentals are definite highlights of this amazing album.
“The Black Antlers” shocks you from the tranquility of the previous track. It’s a very heavy, loud track with pounding drums and heavy riffs. This is tortured experimental, black metal at its finest. “In Awe Before The Rapture” is has a slow doom riff that repeats but everything layered on it is NOT doom initially. That includes the frenetic speech given during the middle of it. Then the song embraces the riff fully and gives the whole album a HUGE send off.
Even a review like this one won’t truly prepare you for this album. “The Earth is the Sky” is a true masterstoke by a band that deserves to be recognized for exploring the depths of their own sound and taking it to the outer limits of what progressive music can be when done correctly. The Moth Gatherer are here to challenge the listener with massive highs and tranquil lows and everything in between. “The Earth is the Sky” is the blueprint of what music CAN be when pushed.
1. Pale Explosions
2. Attacus Atlas
3. Probing The Descent Of Man
4. Dyatlov Pass
5. The Black Antlers
6. In Awe Before The Rapture
Label: Agonia Records