Although they’re completely new to the doom/sludge scene, Modder from Belgium sound like they’ve spent years finetuning and perfecting their sound. Their Self-Titled debut album, out December 3rd through Consouling Sounds and Lay Bare Recordings, is thirty-one minutes of pure instrumental riff-worship. The formular seems simple and effective but there definitely is more to it when you listen to this record.
It’s massively heavy and filled to the brim with neck-breaking riffs, but at the same time Modder succeeds at creating atmospheres that suck you right in, making for an intense, eerie, and dark album. The sound has some sludge and prog elements to it, while for the most part leaning towards huge-sounding doom metal.
Throughout the album Modder show off their ability to write solid riffs and melodies. Take for example the opening track, Mount Frequency (you just know it’s gonna be heavy); it starts off massively huge, slow with a certain punch to it. One overarching theme also shows here: The first riff always leads to another, even heavier one. They weren’t kidding when they said ‘riff worship’ – and I like that about Modder!
It’s massively heavy and filled to the brim with neck-breaking riffs…
As much as it’s heavy and riff-oriented, the sound is also dynamic and experimental. The drums contribute to this with a lot of interesting grooves: The fast-paced cymbal-fills and staggered rhythms towards the end of Wax Rituals creates a contrast to the crushing sound, making it shine through. Additionally, the use of synthesizers and industrial samples is something you don’t see that often. These range from metallic sounds and low-end synths in the breakdown of Wax Rituals, to the glitchy samples in the intro to Spasm filling in albeit the few holes in the otherwise dense mix.
By combining these neck breaking riffs with low-end synthesis and weird samples, Modder effectively establish atmospheres with each track on this album. Overall it’s dark, eerie and intense, and the use of synths and samples contribute a lot to this, as well as the extremely well written riffs. The album closer When Your Bones Weren’t Meant To Be is a clear display of these atmospheres with slow build-ups and a certain degree of emotionality to it.
With their ability to write captivating, massive and atmospheric music, Modder certainly establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the scene with this record. There’s room for fleshing these ideas out even further, making for an even more nuanced sound, which leaves me excited for their future releases.
Scribed by: Emil Damgaard Andersen