Inspired forms of darkness have long distinguished the extreme Hellenic scene, and its unlimited potential continues on this latest incarnation from MOEROR. After carving an identity that struck notably among the urban psychosis of 2020’s The Ghosts of Amour Propre, these experimentalists endured the untimely passing of their vocalist, X., who is also known for redirecting this world’s putridity back upon itself through the wrath of HUMAN SERPENT. All That We Seem witnesses the surviving members of MOEROR risen from the ashes of this tragedy, and scars are apparent in the vehement energy driving its compositions, which push onward with a remarkable and unwavering depth to their craft. The band’s essence has been altered, but still possesses a familiar and fierce vitality, and All That We Seem expands those traits for a compelling exploration of trauma.
A certain emptiness appears in the stripped-back onset of “Enthralled in Eternal Bliss,” but its psychedelic strums engage a trip unfolding across multiple fretted patterns, which overlap to form a complex mass highlighted by striding paces. An enchantment from these textures is elevated when ambient hallucinations arise, and their dark allure matches a noted intervallic dissonance amid bouts of blast-beaten upheaval. This moves toward a rhythmic advance heralding grand developments over a series of transitions, where forceful and flowing percussive exercises combine with various riff dynamics, and they sustain evocative auras until transferring to a dreary lead melody on the title track. Keys intersect with its course while building a somewhat lighter atmosphere, and it effectively compounds the drop into disturbed currents and chord strikes that follow. The visceral intensity of this section is further magnified vocally, and even though X. isn’t physically present here, it marks an instance of distinct technique and delivery that seems to embody his spirit. Bleak variations persist among structures demonstrating other melodic intricacies and effects, along with purposeful beats that escalate to frenzy as string and vocal torments peak.
Experimental tendencies are pronounced during the first part of “Frailty,” with atmospheric and piano lines evolving alongside a clean-stringed emergence, and the conjured melancholic splendor progresses into territories of labyrinthian melody. Rhythmic and accented riff elements backed by raw arpeggiations become apparent, along with points of heavy blasting and vocal savagery, but an overall focus on distinctive rhythms over sheer pummeling severity is also notable. This calculated harnessing of blast beats is demonstrated further on “With Eyes Sewn, We Gaze Upon a Starless Sky,” and tremolos parallel their frantic pace as it traverses different strides, including those marked with an arpeggiated timing that falls between beats and double bass surges. A dose of XASTHUR influence is captured when drifting into depressive depths, and anguished projections are answered through a wrathful execution before shifting back to entrancement. Keys and distant melodies induce transcendence here, and a contemplative moment is provided among the carnivalesque yet cosmic nether regions central to “Emptiness Behind the Veil.” This full immersion in the ambient voids glimpsed throughout precedes a final succumbing to sorrow on “Woven From Failure,” where noted and aural silhouettes accommodate the slower procession, and a melodic despair lingers until shackles reflect an end confined to unbeing.
The aural torments are paralleled by words of endless misery within bleak and nihilistic perspectives, which “Enthralled in Eternal Bliss” introduces as “This barren hell we call our home,” and optimistic forms are corrupted in acts that “Suffer in grace.” They extend to a scornful satisfaction toward “The ruin beneath our feet,” and ultimately “No salvation for this cult of hope” is to be found. The Greek language brings a personal element to the title track, where approximate translations observe the hollow and decadent nature of everything, and our grim inevitable fate continues while noting defeat and an immemorable existence on “Frailty.” The sense of being trapped in abysmal regions is described on “With Eyes Sewn, We Gaze Upon a Starless Sky,” and “A cacophony of distrust” echoes the grief inflicted, along with other reverberations that “Tear your subconscious’ rest.” Allusions to Sisyphus also illustrate this despair when “With broken arms we climb this unending well and yet we fall again,” but those involved here remain “Committed to the hunt,” despite being utterly forsaken with “Mankind on its knees.” This instinct continues to “Chase the misery” on “Woven From Failure,” and it reaches a closure where only loss is recognized. The burden is conveyed with visceral detail across these lines, and their material contains a variety of qualities that amplify the orchestrated depths.
Devastation has found a striking outlet through All That We Seem, and it exhibits a decidedly darker side to MOEROR’s art, with intrigue toward its myriad of riff and melodic forms extending indefinitely. Elaborate designs are forged in the meticulous interplay between different layers, and they demonstrate a cohesion that still supports experimental ambitions. Their dread is carried by percussive methods of comparable detail, where frenzied infusions accentuate the anguished spirits within, and these are further possessed in new vocal dynamics that echo traces of X. at certain points. Containing those duties among the core members was undoubtedly the proper choice, and the whole of All That We Seem offers fitting homage to that fallen warrior, who I’m sure still radiates his uncompromising fury throughout the great beyond. A resilience in MOEROR is also asserted here, which hopefully prevails on ventures to come in the times ahead.