Dead Empires EP

Moghul is a new band hailing from Birmingham, England and plying their trade in the sludge/doom metal scene.  Dead Empires is the first release from the quartet and over a mere 2 tracks, but a weighty 23-minutes, the band makes an exciting impression through their sprawling, downcast mode of murky doom.   Their sound contains echoes of Neurosis, especially in the more atmospheric, subdued moments,as well as Samothrace, however Moghulare more straight-forward than the former, and accessible than the latterThe band create a dark, sombre atmosphere as theyembedbluesy huesand a lead-heavy weight into the lengthy tunes.  In typical doom fashion the music plods along, but does so with a languid, head-bobbing bounce.   Throw in some addictive melodies, excellent musicianship and a sorrowful tone and Dead Empires has signalled Moghul’s status as a band to watch.

The production on Dead Empires is another appealing aspect of the EP.  The sound is thick and heavy but the overall clarity and a well-balanced mix gives the recording real sonic power.  In turn, despite the heaving wall of oppressive doom, it’s easy to discern between the instruments and pick out the subtle intricacies, particularly in the expressive guitar work.   The opening title track is just under 10-minutes of melancholic doom; a brooding ebb and flow between their more aggressively straight-forward rumbles, hypnotic moments of blissful guitar noodling, hugely present bass and understated drumming.  The vocals are slightly buried in the mix, switching between clean croons, hoarse shouts and strained bellows.  The heavier vocals recall a mix ofMastodon, early Baroness and Neurosis.

The fantastically heavy ‘Hidden Hand’ features 13-minutes of dense, sludge-infused riffage, excellent guitar work and some psychedelic shades.   The song has a more jam-oriented vibe with terrific interplay during a lengthy, vocal-free section towards its latter half.   Moghul has no problems sustaining the epic length of the material and thankfully avoid straying on the side of self-indulgence.   This is testament to their song-writing maturity and grasp of dynamics, especially considering their short time together.   The potential for further growth and development is an exciting prospect.  ‘Hidden Hand’ is arguably the stronger of the two tracks, but despite sharing unified threads in sound and atmosphere, they both stand-out as powerful individual statements.

A vinyl edition of the EP is available through Devices Records; otherwise you can snap this up dirt cheap via their band-camp page.  In addition, despite their short existence, Moghul also have a one-track self-recorded demo called Blood & Ceremony.Dead Empires hints at the beginnings of something special, and if Moghul are able to sustain this level of song-writing quality over a full-length album, they might release something truly phenomenal in the near future.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Luke Saunders
February 11th, 2013


  1. Commented by: Chuck Kucher

    Nice review, Luke. I liked this quite a bit too. Can’t wait to hear what they do with a longer format.

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