Album review: The Moth – Frost

German doom-pop practitioners The Moth bring tuneful thunder on striking fourth album…

Album review: The Moth – Frost
Olly Thomas

Hamburg heavyweights The Moth have something to offer that’s strikingly different to the doom hordes with whom they’re usually associated. Straightforwardly Sabbathian vibes are largely absent, even on an album including songs with titles like Birmingham and Cathedral. Okay, the latter tune does plough a laudably downer-psych furrow that hints at both Trouble and Uncle Acid, but this comparatively trad groove is just one of several directions the power trio explore throughout Frost.

Whether singing separately or in highly effective unison, bassist Cécile Ash and guitarist Freden Mohrdiek use their voices in an insistent but understated way; only on abrasive opener Me, Myself & Enemy do they sound typically metal in delivery. Instead, The Moth’s concept of heaviness is wide-ranging, as likely to conjure comparisons to noise rock (Battlefield) or shoegaze (the title-track) as sludge or stoner.

Meanwhile, In The City – not a celebration of urban living, incidentally – feels almost gothic, despite typically thunderous drumming from Curry Korr. While certainly not dead ringers, the band they most resemble in this malleability is the much-missed Torche, whose inimitable doom-pop ranged widely across the spectrum with similar potency and addictive tunefulness.

Frost’s downbeat but defiant vulnerability is in part a reaction to Cécile having to deal with breast cancer in the years since previous album Hysteria. Knowledge of this explains lines like, ‘Is this the end of everything?’ and ‘Don’t feed the demon inside,’ while Dust best exemplifies her attitude of resistance, finding strength in herself to best ward off remission. This is, in effect, the purpose of this tremendous album, which through personal innovation shines a light through dark times, its existence testament to tenacious creativity and the perseverance of the human spirit.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Torche, Boris, Kylesa

Frost is released on September 22 via Exile On Mainstream

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