Molassess came to life in 2019, five years after the too-early death of The Devil’s Blood bandleader and guitarist Selim Lemouchi, to perform at Roadburn Festival. That invitation led to inspiration, reuniting The Devil’s Blood singer Farida Lemouchi with former collaborators: Astrosoniq guitarist Ron van Herpen, guitarist Oeds Beydals and bassist Job van de Zande. Before long, the new outfit also recruited Birth of Joy drummer Bob Hogenelst and keyboardist Matthijs Stronks (Donnerwetter).
On Through the Hollow, Molassess’ full-length debut and second release following last year’s “Mourning Haze” / “Drops of Sunlight” single, Farida Lemouchi sounds inspired and powerful, like her passion was not extinguished with The Devil’s Blood when the band ended in 2013. There are similarities to the occult rock group—from the the vintage, psychedelic sound to the old-school production and Lemouchi’s smooth vocals—and comparisons are inevitable, but Molassess have been clear that this band is not simply a retreading of the past.
Each song on Through the Hollow is full of life, each member giving a captivating performance that feels like an essential piece of the song. Lemouchi’s outstanding performance is the centerpiece of the album, surrounded by tantalizing keyboard melodies and guitars that slowly draw the tension to an almost unbearable point before letting it go on songs like “Corpse of Mind.”
Through the Hollow concludes with the fantastic epic “The Devil Lives.” Over the span of 10 minutes, Molassess explore a deep, brooding darkness as Lemouchi proclaims “The devil’s blood is here with me / You must have known, for there are no secrets left.” The song and album explode into a full-tilt psychedelic rock crescendo and then it’s over.
Molassess’ debut album is a moving, emotional piece of rock music—one that honors the memory of a deeply-revered and loved musician—as well as a new beginning for Lemouchi and her collaborators, who continue to walk the same dark path.
“Today we can finally truly let go and celebrate with great pride and a sense of relief the sprouting of this seed,” the band tells Decibel. “May it blossom and infinitely resonate, may it shake hard shells of human soul and feed our lust for creation once more. This germ of a journey is out of our hands and free to spread wherever it desires. Here’s to whatever it may become. Through the Hollow!”
Season of Mist will release Through the Hollow on October 16, but Decibel is streaming the album in full now.