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Review of the Album "Moloch" by Austrian Gothic Metal Band Darkwell

Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


The Band Darkwell Returns After a Long Absence

Darkwell is one of those bands in the music business that started off in the late 1990s, released a studio album or two and then seemingly disappeared off into relative nothingness for a long time. Their 2016 studio album “Moloch” is their 3rd studio release and comes 12 years after their last one in 2004. It also marks the return of original vocalist Alexandra Pittracher whom I have developed a very strong liking for. She replaces Stephanie Luzie.

There is Definitely a Gothic Metal Feel On Moloch

"Moloch" has a noticeably heavier guitar sound in direct contrast to Suspiria. If there is like a sort of unwritten rule in music it is that artists are likely to change their sound and or style as their career progresses with probably a few exceptions. “Moloch” the song stylistically sounds a bit like the band Flowing Tears. I notice a resemblance to the Razorbliss album in that heavy riffing section. You can tell in the keyboard play and in a part of the heavy riffing. In spite of the band’s name being Darkwell, the music isn’t always dark though. It has that sort of Gothic metal quality that Lacuna Coil established. However, Alexandra’s voice in this album is more melodic compared to how she sang on Suspiria all those years ago.

Moloch Sounds Like It is a Mixed Musical Effort of Sorts But It is Still Good

Even if "Moloch" is heavy for Gothic metal standards it is a refreshing kind of heavy if that makes any sense. It does have chunky guitars in it but for a 2016 album it is very modern and Alexandra makes her return to her more charming vocal style in the song called Loss of Reason. However, even if the album is heavier than 2000s Suspiria, it does not mean that it is a better album. On the contrary Moloch is a much weaker album in terms of the songwriting but relax because not all is a disaster with this album. You are about to find out why with the mentioned song Loss of Reason.

The song lyrically describes what happens to a society that loses their ability to reason and think critically and they are caught in a sort of hubris of their own making.

"Loss of Reason"

A Few Interesting Aspects About Moloch

However, there are also a few interesting aspects to the album that should be mentioned and the first of these is that is the fact that there is a song that is named after a Japanese surname. That song is called Yoshiwara. The song is a combination of Angra meets Gothic metal with harmony vocals. There’s something that we don’t always see in this type of music. It gets even a little intriguing with the song Fall of Ishtar as the main riff is almost heavy enough to resemble a modern version of the band Annihilator before it transitions into a Gothic metal kind of song.

Final Thoughts About the Album Moloch

What is the final word on the album Moloch after two full listens through? It marks a good return for one of Austria’s longest standing bands and it is a welcome return for Alexandra Pittracher and this is a good effort for the band to try something musically different and there is still some semblance of the vocals that we heard from Alexandra in the early 2000s. However, there are some cons to this album and they include lyrics that aren’t always easy to interpret. The riffing and songs are not as good as the album Suspiria and sometimes it is very hard for bands to duplicate their strongest musical moments. Moloch is an album that is mostly good but it is not good enough and does not have that extra musical punch or creativity to be as good as Suspiria but this is a welcome return for Darkwell nonetheless.

"Moloch" Song Only

Rate the Album Moloch by the Band Darkwell

© 2020 Ara Vahanian

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