Playlist: MøL’s Favourite Scandinavian Bands

Photo: Marika Hyldemar / @MarikaConcertPhoto Edit: Kim Song Sternkopf / @HeartMatter Artworks

This week, Denmark’s Møl release their outstanding debut album – ‘Jord’. With its assaulting sonic blasts of black metal and textured spells of ethereal shoegaze, it sees the quintet join an acclaimed group of bands moulding the “blackgaze” movement. Songs such as ‘Penumbra’ and ‘Bruma’ are relentless with Kim Song Sternkopf’s scathing vocals leading the way, while ‘Lambda’ and Virga’ highlight Møl‘s uplifting, atmospheric side. Overall, ‘Jord’ is an enthralling journey that is as compelling as it is bleak.

Møl follow a long line of bands to emerge from the Scandinavian region, some of which have shaped their brand of blackened metallic shoegaze. Ahead of the release of ‘Jord’, we asked Møl to compile a playlist of their favourite Scandinavian bands.

Mew – Am I Wry? No
Nicolai Hansen (guitar): Mew broke through into the mainstream at just the right time for me. I’d just gotten into my teens and their music was nothing like I’d ever heard before. They are really what got me into music. The dreamy atmosphere and the fact that the music made turns that you never could expect blew my mind. ‘Am I Wry? No’, the opening track off of ‘Frengers’, is also the primary reason I wanted to pick up a guitar. I really love the guitar work of Bo Madsen.

Serena-Maneesh – Selina’s Melodie Fountain
Nicolai: The Norwegian shoegaze/noise rock band, Serena-Maneesh, is like a strange mix between the Velvet Underground and My Bloody Valentine. I love music that is built around contrast and Serena-Maneesh is a great example of that. They are great at using noise to their advantage creating a very raw sound while also having the music exploding into pure shoegaze bliss. Selina’s Melodie Fountain is a prime example of this.

Mnemic – Liquid
Ken Klejs (drummer): I would say this entire album is audible gold. Groovy, catchy, technical metal with so much lush industrial ambience. Easily one of my favourite productions of all time. I feel that even if I had a thousand of years to practice, I would never reach the level of playing the drummer presents on this album. Clean vocals mixed with screams was also a new thing for me and it opened up a whole different world of metal for me.

Lis Er Stille – Styrke
Ken: Such a powerful and emotional song that never fails to give me goosebumps. Perfect build up and absolutely beautiful vocal performance. The band was formed in the same area I grew up in, and I was always in awe of their talents, me being somewhat younger and much more inexperienced. It’s a song that I wouldn’t mind having played at my funeral.

Benea Reach – New Waters
Kim Song Sternkop (vocals): ‘New Waters’ is a song that have been resonating within me for some years! The way Ilkka displays his vocal superiority through technical finesse and variety absolutely blew me away at first listen back in 2008. His level of control and tone is fantastic (seriously 3:04-3:12 favourites most vocalists jaws drop). The song is one of my all-time favourites and it has inspired a lot of my vocals on ‘JORD’ and still makes me hold my breath of excitement today.

VOLA – Gutter Moon
Kim: I never knew that the mix of ball-busting, down-tuned Meshuggah-riffs and the heavy yet sensible serene Nordic Sound of Mew (from the ‘Frengers’ era) would be such a tremendously fitting combination! I am a huge fan of what Asger and Co. from the Copenhagen-outfit VOLA has created with ‘Inmazes’. ‘Inmazes’ is truly a remarkable release and I really hope we will be sharing a stage someday.

Katatonia – July
Frederik Lippert (guitar): Like many of Katatonia‘s songs, this is a song that creates an interesting juxtaposition. The heavy chugging guitars mixed with Jonas Renkse’s beautiful vocal create stark melodic contradictions. The balance of heaviness and beauty has inspired, not just me, but the entire band as musicians. Getting to play with Katatonia in Aarhus last year was a dream come true.

Entombed – Left Hand Path
Frederik: One of my early introductions to the metal genre. The impact this song/band had on me is two-fold. 1. The possibility of creating aggressive music, that wasn’t punk or rock became apparent to me. 2. The “quest” for tone began. In Møl, we all love gear and effects, and I personally, fell in love with the Boss HM-2 distortion pedal they used to create this song. Iconic song, iconic tone. The search for gear that was different and unique led me right down the “genre rabbit hole”, into shoegaze, and its altars of pedals. I found a way to use this love of guitar effects as a songwriting tool.

In Flames – Only For The Weak
Holger Rumph-Frost (bass): I wouldn’t be playing music today if it weren’t for the influence of In Flames. They opened a door to a world of possibilities. As a young troubled teen constantly seeking limits, I found so much comfort in the music of In Flames. To be able to mix the hard-hitting distortion and melodic guitar melodies and vocal tracks was something entirely new but at the same time a huge inspiration to me. ‘Only For The Weak’ and the of the iconic album, ‘Clayman’, was the primary reason that I chose to follow the dream of becoming a musician.

Ulver – Nowhere/Cathasthrophe
Holger: ‘Nowhere/Cathasthrophe‘ is a track from Ulver‘s album ‘Perdition’ City. An album that defined a new route of musical endeavours for Ulver. Going from classical black metal/folk tunes to playing electronica/trip-hop was something new and again inspiring move. They drove me down a path of dark atmospheric which I still draw musical references to today. It’s a beautiful, melodic and atmospheric track and opened my eyes to music beyond metal!

May
24th Black Heart, London with Svalbard
25th Soan, Nottingham with Svalbard
26th Mother’s Ruin, Bristol with Helpless / Monolithian
27th Green Door Store, Brighton – Creeping Death Fest

‘Jord’ by MøL is released on 13th April on Holy Roar Records.
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