We are always looking for something new and exciting in metal, and wow that sounds very obnoxious. What I mean is we are always, consciously or unconsciously, looking for something that stands out, a breath of fresh air (metaphorically of course) that really grabs our attention. We often aren’t aware that we do it. I wasn’t aware that I was looking for a certain something until I came upon Memoirs of a Secret Empire’s (MOASE) debut album Vertigo.
While they don’t do anything particularly groundbreaking in their music, save maybe for the lack of vocals through the hour long album, but what they lack in innovation they more than make up in sheer talent and technique. MOASE play a sort of fusion of post black metal and progressive metal that falls somewhere on the sliding scale close to Akercocke’s “Deeds that Go Unspoken…” album. And if you can get compared to that album I’d say you were a hell of a band. There’s a lot of acoustical nuances in the production on the album that you really need to listen for because it enhances the experience. It has a lot of atmosphere but I would never call them an atmospheric band, the sound merely feels like it was recorded in a sort of echo chamber. It gives it a sort of haunting feeling; I might attribute that to the bass being low enough to be barely audible at times.
MOASE is a trio, and each member of the band has enough talent to stand out. The drums are not too loud and they function on here more than just as a foundation for the guitars to load riff after riff on. The guitar melodies gave me the impression that some of them were written for a piano because the sound is quite complex, more so than I would usually attribute to a guitar (don’t think that I am saying guitar music is not complex, it’s just a different type of complex that doesn’t have a lot of cross over with the hammered string instruments like the piano). The guitar production varies from droning black, fuzzy black metal to synth-like power metal chords. It’s not really a headbanging album but that doesn’t really matter to me, it’s good enough fill my skull with beautiful sound and that’s all we really need black metal to do. And MOASE do it brilliantly.The music on a whole is part drone, part psychedelic, part avant garde but it’s all good.
Listen and support!