RETRO TUESDAYS: Molested – Blod-Draum (1995)

Chaos is a good place to start when talking about “Blod-draum”, but the songwriting shows great finesse for shaping chaos into unmercifully brutal and unreasonably fast ‘Red in The Sky is Ours’ levels of compositionally complex atmospheric avant-death metal music. The ever-heightening references into folk metal and avant-garde extreme metal of the time resemble a blur of brutality that would shape into the more “evolved” form of Borknagar. Though stylistically it resembles a pure death metal precursor to an album like Aeternus ‘Beyond the Wandering Moon’. Nods into folk metal (“Following the Growls”) and avant-garde, by death metal standards, tracks like “Blod Draum” where a chorus of mouth harps accompany a wave of blast beats, make a great case for why this album endures so much in my mind.

The style is still impossibly brutal for Norwegian death metal and the brutal drumming reminded me of a mix of Immortal as well as Polluted Inheritance and Mercyless who likewise hammer away at riffs in succession alongside hyper kinetic, relentlessly blasted drumming but all find interesting reasons to slow down. Few death metal albums manage the unhinged and primal intensity of Molested’s early 90’s influences and some of that concurrent black metal-ness influence stylizes ‘Blod-Draum’ like nothing else.

The only thing that really keeps this from being higher on my list is that it simply isn’t as memorable musically as it is stylistically. The points of interest along the way are all the quieter moments of this otherwise constantly riffing blastfest that is remarkably technical underneath it’s muddy blackened death brutality. It is a shame that death metal, for whatever reason, went fully out of fashion in Norway around 1992 and bands like this evolved towards black metal. Borknagar‘s debut one year later in 1996 really bridled the brutal chaos found on ‘Blod-Draum’ enough to create an equally compelling black metal classic, with both albums masterminded by Øystein Brun. If you’re inclined towards the compositions of this record then ‘Borknager’ will expand the boundaries of that interest with a murkier true black metal sound, though it loses death metal elements entirely.

Albums that continually redeem their listening value over time are few and far between and I generally feel like ‘Blod-Draum’ is included in that range of quality. My appreciation for the album skates between it’s providence and unique atmospherics (smoothed over with remastering, typically, look for the original release) and it’s dry-bones brutal drumming. Beyond it’s sound and dips into progressive metal the technical and melodic riffing has a style nowhere near similar to most anything else ‘death metal’ in 1995.

Artist Molested
Type Album
Released May 13th, 1995
Listen on YouTube! Check out Molested on Metal Archives

Storms of growls. 5.0/5.0

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