For those of you who aren’t as up on the hip-happenings of internet culture as I am, there’s been some sort of a movement recently towards ‘wholesome memes‘. This is a bit of a misnomer, as said movement doesn’t limit itself to silly pictures of animals captioned with impact text, but has spread itself out across a whole range different types of internet content. In contrast to most of the stuff out there on the world wide web, ‘wholesome’ memes, videos, and images focus on the feel-good factor. Rather than trying to get a few laughs by shitting on someone else, it’s all very much about being nice to everyone.
Similarly in metal, a genre filled with songs named things like “Hammer Smashed Face” and “From Womb to Waste”, David Maxim Micic’s Who Bit The Moon is a breath of fresh air that you can’t hep but smile at. Featuring lots of different, diverse elements and instruments working together in near perfect harmony, influences from across the board skillfully amalgamated together, and some incredibly impressive musical talent, Who Bit The Moon brings a positively cozy atmosphere that its listeners will surely want to snuggle up in.
In his previous works like Eco, there have been a lot of influences from genres outside of rock or metal present in Micic’s music, and this trend is continued in Who Bit The Moon. Whether it’s the Imogen Heap vibes from “Beaver Moon”, the presence of rather nostalgic electronic percussion in “687 days” or the pleasant-sounding strings sprinkled throughout, there’s enough diversity to delight even the most jaded listeners. On top of that it’s accessible enough to appeal to fans of pretty much every genre. This fusion of elements gives it an almost post-rock vibe; I kept finding myself reminded of bands like If These Trees Could Talk and 65daysofstatic, but probably not in the way you’re thinking. It doesn’t sound like those bands per se, yet there’s definitely a shared approach to songwriting between these musicians.
The guitar work, which generally leads the music, has obvious parallels to the likes of Plini. A jazzy and cheerful tone cuts cleanly through the backing instruments and helps drive the songs forward. Where Micic distinguishes himself from Plini is through the skillful conjunction of the guitar and the rest of the instrumentation as well as the underlying structure that accompanies it. Unfortunately though, it’s not completely seamless. I almost feel like the guitar lets the rest of the music down. When you have such well composed tracks as “Who Bit The Moon”, the powerful djenty guitar can sometimes feel a bit out of place, and it feels more like Micic’s showing off than trying to write riffs that fit in those instances. Luckily, the guitar is usually so pleasing to the ear by itself that it largely offsets any damage it might have done to the album as a whole.
Crucial texture is added to the album by the backing vocals which are sometimes present in the compositions. Though lacking in lyrics, the selective use of vocals works to highlight what’s great about the rest of the music whilst also bringing a lot to the table itself, a bit like how a fancy tie completes a suit.
My only real criticism is with the ending of the album, which I feel is more of a whimper than a bang. The final track is great throughout, but it kind of feels like Micic finished writing the song a few bars early! It’s a tad disappointing given that the rest of the album is so strong, and it’s a shame to end on a slightly sour note, but it doesn’t mar the experience as a whole.
All in all, Who Bit The Moon is an absolutely excellent album. It brings the listener a diverse range of honestly delightful experiences, and does the whole ‘djent’ genre a true service by virtue of its incredibly skillful composition and delivery. I have a few nitpicks here and there, but as a whole, Who Bit The Moon is great. Listen to it.
Notable Tracks: “687 Days”; “Damar”; “Who Bit The Moon”
FFO: Plini, Destiny Potato, If These Trees Could Talk