- Band(s): The Moaning
- Label(s): Floga Records, Osmose Productions
- Release Format(s): 12" vinyl, CD, Re-Release
- Release Year: 2023
- Review Date: April 7, 2023
- Author(s): Colin McNamara
Another lost gem from the vault of metal, a lot of listeners have probably never heard of The Moaning. Hailing from Sweden these guys started in 1993, released a single full length album in 1997, and then kind of just disappeared. They didn’t really get exposure or much media coverage, mostly because ’97 was a time when a lot of other ‘bigger’ Swedish bands like In Flames, At the Gates, and Dark Tranquility were also making waves that just so happened to be a lot bigger. Part of it might have been due to labels like Century Media and Nuclear Blast, whereas The Moaning were on No Fashion Records which few had ever heard of. Either way, they got lost in time… until recently. Osmose Productions must have been digging around in their vaults and come across this record, spun it, and been very surprised how well it fits with the ideal ‘rise of Black and Melodic Death Metal,’ decided to do a reissue with some extra tracks back in 2022, and now we have a revisitation of the album. Right from the starting title track one can get the Hyporcrisy feel from the riffs and vocal style with a more ‘blackened’ tone. There is also quite a bit of Emperor in there- minus the symphonics- and a little bit of Children of Bodom too- minus the keyboards. It is a little more of the ‘Old School Blackened Melodic Death Metal’ route so those who enjoyed the raw likes of guitar and vocal focused music without the addition of electronics or cleans will really enjoy this.
Other tracks like ‘Still Born’ have a little bit more of a Thrash based tone with the Black Metal vocals and a bit more upbeat rhythm versus the more darker sound of the other tracks, like ‘Dying Internal Embers’ which is about as Melodeath as one can get. Fans ‘bass solos’ will really enjoy it as it is one of the better tracks to showcase The Moaning’s ability to get some audible bass work in versus being melodic guitar heavy. Vocals still keep that consistent rasp/shriek so they don’t ever quite venture into the lower snarl/growl that so many Melodeath bands enjoy to use, but Children of Bodom also never really employed the lower range and kept their vocals pretty ‘blackened’ too. ‘Dreams in Black’ leans a bit more towards the Melodic Black Metal side of things with nods to Emperor and Naglfar. And those who enjoy the likes of In Flames will really be grabbed by the riffs from ‘Mirror of the Soul.’ A little more mid paced than the other tracks, it is a rather easy going, anthemic track and a great starting place for those who are uncertain of how they feel about The Moaning.
The bonus attractions are all demo pieces, so expect a much more raw, fuzzy sound, but with a lot more audible bass and rumble to the music. Some are new like ‘A Battle to Win’ and some are repeats like ‘Blood from Stone,’ but the last 3 tracks at least are very enjoyable to hear a less melody charged sound and see how the band has evolved over 3 years. With the resurfacing of this album perhaps it will get the band to come out of wherever they are and start up again. Granted a 20 plus year difference is going to be interesting if these guys ever do a new album or reconvene, but it should be noted that their sound is definitely one that helped shape today’s modern Melodic Black Metal sound with the likes of releases from bands like Blackguard, Lord Belial, or even Gates of Mourning. Again, this is not really modern or prog driven Melodic Black/Death Metal, but one can definitely enjoy one of these ‘origin’ albums for how the genre is today, despite how unknown it is.
- Country: Sweden
- Style: Black Metal, Death Metal
- Links: Facebook, Spotify
- Country: Greece
- Style: Black Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Other
- Links: Homepage, Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp
- Country: France
- Style: Black Metal, Death Metal
- Links: Homepage, Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp, Youtube