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Mossgiver – The Song Among Branches

mossgiver – the song among branches


Mossgiver is an Atmospheric Black Metal band hailing from Slovenia, and ‘The Song Among Branches’ is the 2nd effort from Tilen Simon. Despite that this guy was part of Within Destruction for a short bit on bass, don’t expect any electronic or deathcore influences here. Like the previous album before, Mossgiver is still what can be considered ‘relaxing Atmospheric Black Metal.’ Simon makes prominent use of synth/ piano among acoustic guitar moments and here and there the Deafheaven inspired riffs to make up the album. It is only 4 tracks but most clock past 10 minutes, so there is a good chunk of 30 minutes of music here. Like most Atmospheric Black Metal, there is a lot going on here but also not a lot. Simon uses a lot of repetition with the song structures, usually starting out slow and then dropping in a few of the heavier moments with the shrieked vocals which sound like a less distorted Xasthur and then cushioning everything again with the keyboards again. Tracks like the opening ‘The Song Among Branches’ are a prime example; it has that lulling start on the synth before jumping into the more aggressive Black Metal inspired sound with the riffs and the drums. The piano bits jump in here and there but never feel overused along with the eerie keyboards and the vocals are used here and there but never really all the way through. Simon really wants listeners to feel the emotion of the music mostly in the instruments it seems, but the vocals add that pained, but not annoying, ‘hey listen to me now!’ touch to the music.

Other tracks like ‘Solemnly’ are more proggy- almost in a Opeth way- and devoid of any Black Metal moments. While a gentle interlude, the repetition is extra coarse here. Whether heavy or soft, one thing that stays constant throughout the album is that the music has an easy flow to it. Even during thunderous moments such as the Summoning inspired chaos on ‘Kjer Žalost Bledi’ thanks to the drums which will probably serve as the one of the heaviest sections of the album and also most cinematic, and despite the lush keyboards with it almost nothing seems to soften it. It seems like ‘The Song Among the Branches’ is following the same river pattern of the first album as the music can be predictable, but that is the one struggle with Atmospheric Black Metal. The good news is that Mossgiver doesn’t make their music too keyboard loaded or riff loaded, but rather a healthy balance, so the predictability is more acceptable rather than coming off as annoying. While all the shrieked lyrics seem to be in Slovene, listeners shouldn’t let that deter them from enjoying what the album delivers. While this music has its grim moments, it is not a crunchy, hazy fog like Striborg nor the raw chaos of Leviathan. Bordering on Folk Black Metal but not quite there, it is safe to say that ‘The Song Among Branches’ takes some of the better melodies from groups like Rotting Christ in their gothic days and adds in the more of a Alcest groove without the shoegaze influences. It will certainly be appreciated by those who enjoy Black Metal that is ‘chilling’ but in a warm and not icy way.


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