Norwegian noise rock trio MoE emerge from the bleakest recesses with their latest primal slab – simply titled, 3, it’s an extension of their ‘minimalism meets experimental post metal horror’ that’s acquired them much critical acclaim and respect since their 2008 inception; the band has churned out several 7 and 12”s as well as two previous albums in 2011’s It Pictures and 2013’s Oslo Janus. A rigorous touring schedule through Europe, Japan and especially Mexico provided lyrical and thematic inspiration for 3 – the violence, desperation and need for escapism so inherent to the impoverished third world both sobers and inspires, and this seven track opus is the garnered result; cult followers who share an appreciation for the extremes of music and passion (as opposed to limiting themselves to singularly ‘extreme’ music) understand front woman Guro Skumsnes Moe‘s (bass, vocals) philosophy – noise music is driven by the primeval spirit, and nothing is more ferocious than the instinct to survive.
Opener Before I Burn Down swells and tumbles, with Moe‘s agonal gasps to insulate the tension; a low bass rumble provides the undercurrent for the cut, with an occasional crash and snare (courtesy of newcomer Joakim Heibø Johansen) to contain the brewing free form chaos. Arbitrary aggression is not the allure here – capturing the raw human condition is, however, and the blistering feral punk of tracks like Tephra or Let Them Dance claws like a chained animal, raw and seething to the point of bleeding abrasion. Håvard Skaset‘s (guitars) vertiginous licks and screeching feedback threaten a complete disintegration and devolution, but Moe‘s bass thump anchors the groove and keeps the sights set on ‘cool’.
Any time spent with the discordant sludge of Meltdown or the drunken head nodding Mucosa know up front that accessibility is not on the menu – No Noise is unapologetic on that point, with the first 3 minutes spent in the throes of ‘tortured dissonance’; the group wields cacophony as the true weapon of affliction, but like other adepts at the craft, beneath the disorder and sonic mayhem lies an understanding of classical structure, melody, and song – but it’s an unsettlingly wonderful reward to see a band strip that meat and serve the bone. Highly Recommended.
Scribed by: Jeremy Moore