Live Review: MØL – The Fleece, Bristol
9th May 2023
Support: Countless Skies
Words: Richard Oliver
Atmosphere, emotion and extremity collided together in stunning fashion on the second show of the UK leg of the European tour between MØL and Countless Skies. A night of stunning music awaited the crowd in attendance at The Fleece and I don’t think anyone left the show disappointed at the end of the night.
Unlike the London show the previous night there was no opening band at Bristol meaning a bit of a wait from the doors opening at 19:30 and Countless Skies hitting the stage at 20:15. The long wait was definitely worth it as the Hertfordshire melodic death metallers played a stunner of a set which easily won them a bunch of new fans. The band were on blinding form but, with some help from a crowdfunder, they had a special guest joining them for these shows in the form of cellist Arianna Mahsayeh. Arianna has played shows with the band before and fits seamlessly in with the band (as can be heard on the bands recently released live in the studio album 'Resonance'). So seamless is Arianna’s inclusion that it feels like she has always been a part of the band and her parts add extra amounts of atmosphere especially in the quieter moments.
Another weapon in the Countless Skies arsenal are the clean vocals of bassist Phil Romeo who has such power and range that the crowd were blown back a bit every time he opened his mouth and unless those vocal cords. The harsh vocals from guitarist Ross King were equally powerful and delivered with far more intensity and venom than can be heard on the recorded versions of the songs. It was only a five song set with the majority taken from the band’s last studio album 'Glow' such as ‘Moon’, ‘Summit’ and ‘Tempest’ with the sole ‘Daybreak’ from debut album “New Dawn”. The centrepiece of their show was the stunning 20 minute epic title track from 'Glow' which was simply jaw dropping and had my arm hairs standing on end for the entirety. A set that was bursting with intensity and brimming with emotion and melancholy. Countless Skies really delivered the goods and lay down the foundations of the show that was to follow.
Heading out on their first ever European and UK headlining tour, you could tell these shows are a big deal for MØL and it showed a thousandfold from the dazzling set they performed. The Danish blackgaze band are very fond of performing in Bristol counting it as their home turf on UK soil having built a UK fan base thanks to their appearances at the ArcTanGent festival held just outside Bristol. The band are always very well received whenever they grace the city with a show and tonight was no exception and there was a definite feel of love between the band and audience.
MØL performed for just over an hour and packed a ridiculous amount of intensity into the set with a good amount of material lifted from their stunning 2021 album 'Diorama' with songs such as ‘Vestige’, ‘Photophobic’ and ‘Itinerari’ taking breaths away with their mix of delicate shoegaze and post-metal fired through a furious black metal lens. The blinding strobe lights on stage seared their way into my being as much as the music did and by the end of the set you felt like you had been on a captivating and violent journey. MØL put their all into their performance with frontman Kim Song Sternkopf being an intimidating frontman pouring every fibre of his being into his performance with almost frightening intensity but a performance you cannot take your eyes off. The band only performed as a four piece this evening being a guitarist down with bassist Holger Rumph-Frost filling the vacant second guitarist spot but the lack of a live bassist did not impact on the performance whatsoever. This was my first time seeing MØL perform live and prior to this show I had heard off many of my friends just how good they are live. I can safely say that the hype is real and should they be coming to your nearest city any time soon MØL are not a band to be missed.