Morass of Molasses- So Flows Our Fate

Rating: 4.5/5
Distributor/label: N/A
Distributor/label URL: N/A
Released: 18/04/15 (Re- released on vinyl on 27/08/15)
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Band line-up:m_of_m_cover

Bones The Beard-  Baritone Guitar/Vocals
Phil The Mountain- Guitar
Chris The Beast- Drums

Track listing

1. Rotten Teeth
2. Ashtabula
3. Fear To Tread
4. Bear River


‘So Flows Our Fate’ is Reading based stoner/sludge outfit Morass of Molasses’ debut EP offering and was met with open arms when it was officially released back in April this year. It features front cover artwork created by the brilliant Dominic Sohor, who has worked with the likes of Orange Goblin, Raging Speedhorn and Sleep, to name a few. Today the record is re-released on vinyl and so to mark this occasion, frontman Bones the Beard kindly had a little chat with us about the record and the band (you can find the interview in full right here) and the record was given a once-over too.

Morass of Molasses is named after the Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919, when a storage container unexpectedly burst and released 2 million gallons of Molasses upon the city, creating huge, 35mph waves that took many lives and caused utter devastation. The theme has been continued on this EP, with each track telling the story of a different historical disaster.

The record kicks off with ‘Rotten Teeth’, which references the same disaster the band is named after. It begins with a gently lulling, clean and playful guitar riff that accompanies wistful vocals from Bones the Beard but it soon explodes into a mêlée of raunchy, crunching guitar riffs, throttled vocals and furious drum whacking. The to-ing and fro-ing between the mellow sections and more aggressive parts keeps you on your toes and spurs on involuntary spurts of toe tapping and in-time head nodding. The sounds of rainpour at the end is a lovely little touch. ‘Rotten Teeth’ is an absolute gem of an opener.

The groove is turned up to 11 for next track ‘Ashtabula’, which pays homage to the Ashtabula Railroad Disaster of 1867, when a train was derailed because of a fault in a bridge going over the Ashtabula River. With Bones screeching, “Die! With you!” In time with his punchy guitar riffage, ‘Ashtabula’ not only packs the grooviness but also has a firm grip on Stoner-drenched attitude, further enhanced by his fondness for taking full advantage of his wah pedal! Drummer Chris even showcases his primitive side with an all too brief drum solo. His ability to fully utilise everything his expansive kit has to offer is very well showcased on this track as he slams and smashes his way through bass, toms and various cymbals alike.

‘A Fear to Tread’ (which is about the Battle of Passcendale, which took place during WWI) creeps and sludges its way into your ears with lolloping drum beats teamed with lazy guitar riffs, basslines and near-whispering vocals from Bones. It beautifully describes what it must have been like to have been entangled in the battle and reflects it perfectly by gradually building up into a crescendo of cymbal crashing, wailing screams of “Hungry Earth!” And playful guitar licks.

Bear River wraps up this stunner of an EP by telling the story of the Bear River Massacre which took place in 1863 (where Bear River and Beaver Creek met) and involved the killing of a Native American Tribe at the hands of the US Army. Chris’ opening drumbeat is reminiscent of rythms found in Native American music, which is a nice touch, and stylistic influences can be heard throughout. However, it has to be said that although Bones has otherwise done a superb job of ensuring a lack of bassist does not mean a lack of depth and solidity to their overall sound (by playing his Baritone Guitar through both guitar and bass amps and using two octave generator pedals), ‘Bear River’ does sound a little hollow and in real need of a little more beefing up.

‘So Flows Our Fate’ is a debut Morass of Molasses can truly be proud of; it packs an almighty punch, their identity is incredibly strong, they’re not afraid to stray away from what is typically expected of a stoner/sludge band, or even any band for that matter seeing as they decided to forego a bassist! It indicates a very promising future for the band but makes the wait for their album (scheduled to be released sometime next year) all that more painful!

Review by Soozi Chameleone