Mothra is a psychedelic sludge metal act from Auckland, NZ. They dropped their debut album Decision Process in January this year and let me tell you it is good. Did you ever want to be the music version of Frankenstein and just put bands like Tool, Meshuggah and Pink Floyd together? Well, I’m sorry you can’t unfortunately, but I can offer you this gem right here. If you’re a fan of old school Tool-esque stuff then this is your slice of meat.
Never have I ever listened to a band and felt this familiar sense right away. The listener is thrown directly into the music like Alice in the rabbit hole. It’s incredible how Decision Process can create an audio-landscape for the listener to explore in a few minutes. The overly-fuzzy bass sounds on this record grab the listener like quicksand while the haunting melodies and hard dissonant riffs are making sure you’re moving forward.
With only one guitarist the band really knows how to make the most out of the simplest things. With a lot of effects like reverb, delay and fuzz Mothra works with a lot of ambient and psychedelic melodies, which are extremely well set to loosen up or tighten the mood. Throughout the album Mothra knows exactly how to handle their song structures. The listener is drawn in and can’t really escape the feeling that this is more than just an ordinary record but an actual experience. It forces the listener to really listen and pay attention to it.
In some cases it almost seems like they are playing in polyphony, with all the instruments playing separated phrases. These are shortly after tied together. Sometimes through a more ambient interlude, sometimes through brutal riffs full of sludge metal goodness. The more distorted parts seem to focus around very dark and diminished sounding scales which often find their place in the more temporary metal genres. Ambient parts seem more focused around more complex themes, varying throughout the album.
Overall I can say that this record couldn’t be recommended enough for fans of Tool and bands alike. Although they definitely don’t reinvent the wheel, Mothra feels like a fresh breeze with their extreme dynamics on this record. For others the record might be too long and I admit that there are a few reoccurring themes that get a little dull at times.
FFO: Tool, Meshuggah, Deftones
Notable tracks: Awake the Machine, Elements of Sleep, Cataclysm