Thursday, August 18, 2011

Album Review: Deathmole - Fear of Black Horses

Deathmole is an interesting sound of post-metal, to say the least. It's actually a three-piece virtual metal band, not unlike Dethklok, but in the sense that members from the webcomic Questionable Content comprise the band. The music itself, however, is written by the artist of the webcomic, Jeph Jacques. The music that Deathmole creates is sometimes based around a theme, as can be seen with the debut album, Moletopopolis, and with the most recent album / EP, Fear of Black Horses. Much of the time, it's very melodic, progressive metal or post-metal, and always has minor key experimentation that sound more psychedelic than anything else, which is important, because it draws interest and makes the fact that the music is instrumental unimportant to say the least.

The second song on the album, "Rugged Mane", is a really cool example of what Deathmole is capable of pulling off. The song starts with some faded guitar riffing, which then blows into full-on headbang material, sounding a lot like traditional metal, but then transfers its feel into something completely different. With melancholic chords and reverbed dual melodies in the background, the layering is palpable, and the intense emotive quality is really put forward for all to see, with fantastic skill. Right afterwards, Jacques shows off his ability for writing as seemingly dissonant chords resolve into what can only be referred to as amazingly experimental, and a perfect addition to the song, a typical Deathmole touch. As the aforementioned dual guitars arise once again, the emotional riffing starts again, with a touch of flanger to insert an ethereal quality and a quintessential icing on the post-metal cake, made only sweeter by the endless ocean of longing struck and held by the final chord.

Deathmole is a band that I can honestly say has never disappointed me. Listening with an open mind to experimental writing has allowed every album Jacques has written to become what I really expect when I listen to progressive or instrumental metal - really, it's that good. He has a fantastic way of meshing dissonant chords with ones that sound so intensely passionate that one intensifies the other in ways that I've only ever been able to find with Deathmole. Fear of Black Horses is a release that shouldn't be at all difficult for metal fans to love, and it really is one of Deathmole's top releases to date.

You can get the album on Deathmole's bandcamp for as little as ONE DOLLAR! You can also download most (if not all) of the other albums on Jeph's tumblr.

Track Listing:
1) Gnashing Teeth
2) Ragged Mane
3) Bone Saddle
4) Creepy Eyes

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