Modder - s/t

14 Dec 2021

Psychedelic Post-Metal | LAy Bare Recordings, Consouling Sounds | Release date: 03 Dec 2021

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What makes a record heavy? The riffs? The tuning? The low-end rumbling? No – it‘s the pauses! Why? Because if everything is only dark without any light, without any rest – then everything will become a blur at one point. And with Modder‘s new self-titled record that becomes pretty obvious as they are really good at creating dark moments with the necessary pauses to highlight the strength and heaviness of the sounds around those small gaps of fresh air.

The now-quintet from Ghent, Belgium is somewhat similar to bands like Indian or Sleep – sounds strange because of the different pace that both bands use in their songs? Indeed, but the riffs that Mathlovsky and fellow guitar player Maxime Rouquart are really heavy and remind the listener of the low-rumbling heaviness of an Indian song without the feisty, gnarly vocals in the background. However, the Chicago-veterans are usually a bit noisier whilst the Belgians are a tiny bit doomier and thus a bit more like Sleep in the sense that their riffs are heavy but are also sometimes dragged out a bit into swirling heights. Need an example? Listen to the near ten-minute opener ”Mount Frequency” which is able to reproduce the same riff and still repeat is quite often in different variations and spots within the soundscape. The riff is sometimes pushed in front of the swirling motif or it is pulled a bit to the back so that a certain shoegazey aspect is a bit more emphasized.

The soundscape is surely somewhere in the stoner/post-metal/doom spheres in the sense that the record is brilliant at repeating its structures and yet never getting boring at any point. It’s a bit like Fu Manchu on acid or Sunn O))) on speed. The audience’s senses are pushed into overload by the amazing work the band is giving us with their emphasis on speed to produce a kind of trance-like state.

When the tracks make those little tiny pauses, it is exactly then that one can witness how good the band is. In ”Spasm” that pause comes at roughly 3,5 minutes and everything quietens down and we only hear the synth with a few notes and a simple small guitar part. And then drummer Gregory Simmons (one of the two founding members of Modder) sets back in with a little galloping part in the background and one can see the song rising from the ground again. Like a monolith suddenly erupting from the desert right behind the little oasis in the desert that the lonely wandered just found after days of wandering through the sand-scapes longing for water and a shade. And this sudden eruption is only the bigger and harder because of the wanderer’s ability to really take it in now that he is relaxed and watered again. Before his arrival at the oasis he would have been to consumed by his thirst and strive to survive.

The band from Ghent releases their new record via Lay Bare Recordings and Consouling Sounds and we must congratulate both labels for releasing such a promising record! It will be really interesting to see where Modder is going with their style of songwriting and their special tuning. Their pauses are definitely already exquisite and defining their heavy sound!