Back in February 2018 we published an introducing feature on one danish blackgaze act titled MØL. Within that said article we hailed the act to the future of the lucrative global blackgaze movement and scene; a lofty claim indeed. Clearly however we weren’t incorrect with our judgements. Since the release of their simply phenomenal debut in April of that year the Danish blackened shoe gazers arose to become the prominent leaders of the European blackgaze scene, with the contemporary alternative press as a whole labelling their debut long play as the one of the genre’s greatest achievements – an utter triumph of colossal proportions.
Whilst Jord may have ultimately gone on to become a modern staple of the genre, their two early EP’s, dubbed I and II effectively, where commonly regarded as many to be nothing more as collectors items. Underappreciated and undervalued, releases only to be cherished by the devoted and dedicated. An utter travesty, as these two releases are, to be stated simply, monumental achievements in their own respective rights. Thankfully, these EP’s have been given a new lease at life thanks to the efforts of Holy Roar Records. Remastered, repackaged and re-released, I/II accentuates the early years of this incredible band.
Whilst Jord was a masterful exercise in production, I/II, understandably, is a far more raw and unrefined beast. However, to regard this as lesser than it’s long play contemporary would be criminal, and to label the release of this amalgamation of work as being nothing more than a formality would be an awful fallacy. Wonderful in it’s unrefined and raw state, I/II is the ideal opportunity to the explore the creative origins of Jord.
Those who feel deeply in love with Jord will immediately succumb to the same feelings of infatuation and amazement once again when experiencing the opening tracks ‘Sundrowned’ and ‘Airy’, with the downpour of transcendent shoegaze marring beautifully with Steffen Nørregaard Rasmussen's primal screams and cavernous reverb laden leads. However, it’s ‘Makhachkala’ and ‘Kathexis’ that truly stand as the sonic monuments that foreshadow the ethereal beauty and intense vivacious viciousness that made Jord such a phenomenal release. Bittersweet, melodically tender and nightmarishly punishing, these tracks demonstrate Møl’s ability to amalgam tender, ethereal soundscapes with thunderous blackened intensity to phenomenal standards, principles they mastered on their debut release.
As the release progresses, you can effectively hear the progressive and continuous development of the band’s sound. Each respective track unveils a new layer and dynamic, one which Møl harnessed collectively within Jord. ‘Atacama’ and the suitably titled ‘Rush’ see the formal introduction of the blistering intensity that was clearly evident within sections of Jord, with the scorching speed of ‘Rush’ foreshadowing the feeling’s of authentic anxiety that was evident within their full length. Despite such fervent intensity, the ethereal, emotive euphoria and translucent clarity are unmistakable and ornate. Much like Jord, these are emotionally devastating movements of furious proportions, but presented in a far more primal aesthetic.
I/II isn’t just for dedicated fans and nor is it just for genre connoisseurs. It’s a staggering collection of fantastic works, one that showcases the genesis and evolution of one of the best band’s of the current blackgaze genre. Whilst Jord is still being lauded as one of blackgaze’s most illustrative achievements, it’s vital to remember that such an achievement wouldn’t be possible without this collection of work. An arresting collection that is deserving of the immense praise that Jord was subjected to in it’s own right.
I/II is out now via Holy Roar Records