REVIEW - Molitoth - 'You' (Album)
Following 2020's 'The Tribunal' album, Molitoth's main-man Kyle Brandt expanded the line-up (he had mostly recorded 'The Tribunal' by himself), adding guitarist and keyboards player Madelyn Robertson and Sam Sartorius on drums, to embellish his accomplished prog-metal sound. The Kansas City trio release their sophomore album 'You' this week, which picks up where 'The Tribunal' left off and continues the band's progression with a terrific album full of differing atmospheres and imaginative songwriting. It is an album that fans of the prog-metal genre will take much from and which mainstream prog and rock fans may also enjoy.
The album washes in with 'Acolytes' and its opening bars of lovely piano, a sturdy back-beat and atmospheric keyboards which provides a tranquil beginning; the slow building tension of the track is then released slowly until the following section of alternating harsh and urgent vocals and jagged, driving guitars takes over and then ends abruptly with the song fading away on a bed of floating keyboards and martial beats. At nearly 14 minutes it is an epic, enthralling start to an accomplished album. 'Disputes' rocks a little harder with a hooky chorus, nicely judged arpeggios on the guitars in the verse and a great middle eight. 'Soft Disclosure' has a fuzzy opening which gives way to complicated rhythms and a vicious metalcore mid-section with a perfectly paced ending and leads straight into the single 'The Maze Of Existence'. The tunes' pacy drive, muscular rhythms and soaring vocals makes it the perfect introduction to the band and is the highlight of the album (for me!); it's mid-song breakdown building back-up to a fantastic finishing section full of fine technical guitar playing and pulsing rhythms. 'Dissipate' and its intro of melding vocals leans into a melancholic sounding track with haunting atmospheres very much present across its six minute duration and the concise sharp 'No Surrender' leads into the album's closing track 'Eviscerate' which is a nagging, insistent song whose sinister feel brings the album to a fine close replete with grinding percussion, questing guitars and another array of differing vocal productions. The track finishes on a stately piano figure, its sombre tones rounding off an album of wildly varying instrumentation and ambience.
'You' is an excellent album, with well crafted songwriting, accomplished musicianship and a terrific production. The band's sound is organic and challenging in places, but the album bears repeated listening and as mentioned, fans of the prog-metal genre will find a great deal to enjoy amongst its grooves. With an established line-up in place, let's hope there's more thrilling music to come from Molitoth.
'You' is released this Friday (24th February 2023) and will be available on all the major digital sites and from the Molitoth bandcamp page - www.molitoth.bandcamp.com