Label: Season of Mist Release date: 16-10-2020
MOLASSESS is a Dutch formation, beckoned to life as a commissioned performance for the first time in 2019 edition of Roadburn Festival, six years after The Devil’s Blood were laid to rest. The band consists of former TDB members: Farida Lemouchi, Oeds Beydals, Job van de Zande and Ron van Herpen, as well as Marcel van de Vondervoort (Astrosoniq), Bob Hogenelst (Birth of Joy) and Matthijs Stronks (Donnerwetter). The band takes their name from the final song on Lemouchi’s solo EP ‘Earth Air Spirit Water Fire’ and tragically his last mortal offering before his death in 2014. Farida explains the meaning of the band in an interview:
“The whole idea of molasses is that it’s letting go, but real slow and it always keeps sticking a little bit. You never can really let go. You have to embrace it, and you have to stop and think with it. But you can still move on. For me, it’s like that. There is a time when you stand still and then you have to go into it a bit deeper, and then it gets really deep and dark. And then when you do that, you wake up one day and you’re stronger and better and then you take next steps.”
The band released an EP last year, and managed to catch the attention of many fans. Now, this journey continues with the debut full-length “Through The Hollow”, out via Season of Mist.
“Through The Hollow” delivers us over an hour of perfection consisting of that psychedelia and prog rock. Surprisingly, the complexity of the record with those technical and progressive elements completely captivated me. Moreover, the overall arrangement of the songs is musically quite diverse that you will hear some jazz or classic elements here and there, which shows just how talented the band is as a whole! There is no stagnation or repetitions but the ever-changing rhythms and the guitar solos will keep you hooked!
The album, as a huge mosaic, consists of many twists and surprises. “Through The Hollow” as the first song, shows the technical and that prog rock side of the band. There is a slow start to it, kind-of like that “foundation” feeling, but with each melody and second, we experience more and more elements coming into play, surprising us, taking us into the centre of that downward spiral. On the other hand, songs like “The Maze of Stagnant Time”, “Formless Hands” and the last song “The Devil Lives”, show us the occult/psych rock side of the band. Another surprise was “Death Is”, which is rather upbeat compared to the rest and even a bit groovy!
At this point, I want to talk about my two favorite songs: “Corpse of Mind” and “The Maze of Stagnant Time”. These two can be considered as one huge song (the arrangement can be thought of as Tool’s Parabol and Parabola). “Corpse of Mind” builds up the tension in that sinister and magical way, which is released through “The Maze of Stagnant Time”. I found Farida’s vocals at its peak in this song as well, radiating that magic and essence of the band.
“Through The Hollow” is that dark psychedelic trip you want to take… There is not even one negative aspect about this release. It is beautiful, dark and even melancholic. For the ultimate TDB experience and the nostalgia, I encourage the fans to check out “The Devil Lives”, which will make you shiver.
01. Through The Hollow
02. Get Out From Under
03. Formless Hands
04. Corpse of Mind
05. The Maze of Stagnant Time
06. I Am No Longer
07. Death Is
09. The Devil Lives