Moloch is an incredibly prolific one-man Ukrainian band, the alter-ego of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Sergiy Fjordsson. Since 2004 (according to Metal-Archives) Moloch has released more than 90 demos, splits, EPs, compilations, and full-length albums, and the grand total is undoubtedly higher if we include recordings that were circulated only among small groups of friends and colleagues. In 2014 alone, Moloch has participated in splits with Sabbat, Krieg, and Nunslaughter, released two EPs (Horizont and Die Isolation), and produced an album named Verwüstung. Yet despite this breathtakingly large output, the only work with which I’m familiar — and only recently so — is Verwüstung. But it made an impact on me, hence this review.
As a Moloch neophyte, I’m unable to compare and contrast Verwüstung with any of Moloch’s other releases. For me, it stands alone, but it stands tall.
The album includes two types of music, reflecting what I gather are Fjordsson’s two divergent musical passions. The first track (“Todesstille”) and the last one (“Verwüstung”) are wordless dark ambient pieces. They are markedly different from the six songs that come between them, but they don’t feel tacked on. They feel more like steps in a ritual, with “Todesstille” clearing the mind in preparation for what is to come and “Verwüstung” providing a cooling-off period and a time of reflection after the emotionally harrowing storm of black metal that precedes it.