Uncovering The mysteries of Molested – Blod-Draum

Norway has never been known for being an exponent of death metal, barring the early contributions of Darkthrone and the parent bands to some of the greatest black metal groups to emerge from the country. The brainchild of Borknagar main songwriter Øystein Garnes Brun, Molested was a brief flash in the pan before the mediocrity of Borknagar would define his career.

Taking from the Swedish style, Molested sought to integrate the rawness and the long minor key melodies of black metal into death metal song form. The insanity of the compositions coupled with the raw savagery conceal the beauty hidden within this forgotten classic.

Atypical production cuts off the low end of the guitar and the drums, giving a lot of room both in the higher and lower frequencies while the bass is audible due to its fairly loud volume. The vocals take a more whispered black metal approach in terms of volume but with the deep Finnish bellow and almost sound burped like Demilich’s Anti Boman. The guitars take the European approach of very fluid melodies constantly leading into each other with few interruptions or breaks.

These melodies consist of tremolo picked single notes played at impressive speeds. The music is cadenced with very few rhythmic flourishes. One of the elements that can destabilize even experienced listeners is the sheer quantity of tempo changes that happen at first without any rhyme or reason but eventually make sense later throughout the song. Blod-Draum is full of “clanky” transitions that only make sense later on during the compositions. Also of note is the strong number of folk elements that appear during these compositions in various forms.

Each composition usually begins with a melody that will introduce the piece before shifting into the song’s central motif. From the central motif the band will lead into quite a few tremolo picked melodies before slowing down for either one of the previous melodies that is supplemented with folk instruments or a slow progression of power chords that will then slowly build tension before exploding into a previous set of riffs that will lead the song back to the central motif before exploding into a grand climax.

A combination of the death metal tradition of allowing a handful of riffs to lead to a large number of riffs occasionally mixed with the black metal tradition of making these transitions as discreet as possible despite the sudden tempo changes. The riffs tend to be repeated very few times which contributes to the nauseating effect of this music as it bring further into its world as everything keeps progressing just as quickly as the riffs. The aforementioned “clanky” transitions can disturb the listener but the band is aware of this and the riff succeeding the transition tends to be repeated at least four times to draw back the listener into the music at times.

At times it seems that Molested seek to shock their listeners in the vein of modern metal bands as seen on “Following the Growls” which is known for its completely folk middle section that fits with the rest of the piece in theme but not quite in continuity. As most of the riffs on this element are composed like Black metal melodies with a large palette of notes contained within the natural minor scale and complemented with notes from the harmonic, melodic minor scales and a small dose of chromatic notes.

This approach to note selection keeps these melodies within a consonant nature, Molested can then use the folk instruments to remain in key but they tend to play very simple melodies that are not always directly related to the previous melodies. As soon as the “interlude” in the middle of the composition is over, the band return in full force to build tension towards one of the greater climaxes in the history of metal. The penultimate melody is just as majestic as it is technically pompous. A truly great achievement in the genre.

The eponymous piece on this album abandons the guitars and metal songwriting as the drums blast away in time with an orchestration comprised of a few traditional instruments including a variant of a didgeridoo and bagpipes. This marks a cut in the style of composition but retains the feeling of this album so well without having to worry about coherence between the folk instruments and the distorted guitars. At times these folk instruments can appear alongside the guitars by highlighting the chord progression as do the brief instances of lead guitar that come into play here.

Molested have more ideas on this album than most bands will ever develop during their lifetime. So many brilliant ideas are never full explored as they quickly be ushered out so that new ideas may emerge. On “Forlorn as a Mist of Grief” There are two elements that are not seen elsewhere on the album but which the band exploits well. First being the long arpeggiated that appears twice here. It flows so well from the tremolo picked melodies and expresses longing and melancholy so aptly.

The band could have used this principle of constructing long arpeggiated melodies from the rich chord progressions that form the basis of their music. The second being the use of the noisy bend that accompanies the previous melody so well in just hinting at a single note with playing a melody on top. By hinting towards a particular note during a melody, Molested can then impose a certain feeling or sensation to be taken from the melody. A few times the guitars stop to allow the bass brief bursts of melody like Suffocation did but adapted for the purpose of the music. A lot of the melodies that the bass plays don’t echo the root note of the guitar but during the madness of the music one has to pay attention to the bassist as he tends to enrich the guitar melodies incredibly well and at times can draw away from the purpose of each composition.

Despite the incredibly large number of ideas condensed into this record that may be repulsive, Blod-Draum is in no shape or form a riff salad. Though the sometimes forced shifts between different parts betray this band that had far too many ideas for their own good. Had the band split their ideas into two or three focused albums, Molested could have been the greatest band of all time yet that is not the case and Blod-Draum still remains a grand obscure classic that deserves the persistence to unlock all of its secrets.

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14 thoughts on “Uncovering The mysteries of Molested – Blod-Draum

  1. Vienna Diarrhea Commando says:

    I meant to check this out for a while, even got a copy on my hard drive or somewhere else. I feel like norwegian death metal often has that weird touch to it, if they make DM and not the other style of extreme metal for even bigger fags.

    1. Robert says:

      How old are you?

      1. Vienna Diarrhea Commando says:

        Almost allowed to drink legally in Krautland

        1. Flying Kites says:

          Surely, that never stopped you from getting a drink on Oktoberfest? How terrible it is, to have laws like this.

        2. Remember, we’re “free.”

          Free to pay 3x for alcohol and tobacco to, uh, fund the underclass.

          Free to wait until some arbitrary age to buy alcohol, drive, and so on.

          Free to pay property taxes so the underclass can go to school.

          Free to die in fire when Democracy, Inc., finally starts a war it cannot finish.

          Free to get fired, railroaded, and thrown on the streets for “misgendering” someone.

          Free to have our daughters molested by Jeffrey Epstein, Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, or 10,000 underclass Muslims.

          Free to spend two hours a day commuting so we do not have to live in ghettos.

          Yes, “freedom”… for me, means freedom for you, and freedom for all the shitheads out there who make life unbearable.

          The herd has done terrible things in the name of avoiding kings, gods, and the return of 1980s thrash.

          1. Death Metal Blunderground says:

            “the return of 1980s thrash”

            They already tried that already by splicing the genomes of pizza, beer and a cumrag in a thermonuclear reaction. All it resulted in was Municipal Waste.

            1. The “thrash revival” mostly consisted of party rock bands, but others are bringing back something more useful. Just very slowly.

  2. I was just thinking yesterday on how cool it would be if this site had some detailed information on this album. Awesome!

    1. wanderer says:

      yeah, i’m so sure you did that…

  3. wanderer says:

    oystein of molested drew the logo for skogen magazine back in 93, this mag has a couple of very early molested and borknagar interviews and features, check the book anthology on cult never dies of dayal patterson here https://cultneverdies.myshopify.com/collections/all/products/skogen-zine-anthology-book-underground-archives-book-iii

  4. badass like Clytemnestra says:

    Thank you for digging this up and for another great article !

    “Molested have more ideas on this album than most bands will ever develop during their lifetime.”

    ^ My thoughts exactly when I first this record hehehe.

  5. Gaylord says:

    Opinion: Tapping the Vein would be better without tracks like “One Step Over the Line” and “Bullet in the Head”.

  6. Finnish death metal was the pinnacle of death metal says:

    “Molested could have been the greatest band” hold on just a minute let’s not get carried away. Good article! It’s been a long time since I gave this a full listen. Cheers! I’ll see if I can contribute by writing an article on “Serenadium” when I get the chance.

  7. Death Metal Blunderground says:

    What’s the consensus on the hated proto-melodeath band, Fester?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AqGSp-h7Oo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1uQB44Rxv8

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