Morass of Molasses - These Paths We TreadLust. Greed. Pride. Jealousy. Gluttony. Vengeance. Six emotions that I experience on my daily commute to and from work. What’s better than having a heavy-blues inspired stoner album, shaped by these sordid vices, to accompany me on my soulless journey into this sick and weary world? Hailing from my beloved Blighty, Morass of Molasses thrust sexy, groove-laden shock-waves that send old-biddies reeling, cups of tea a-spilling, rich-tea biccies mushing, and tea doilies dampening1. However, Morass of Molasses owe more to the blues-laden southern-rock tradition, sharing moments of balladry with swampy sludge. Let us tread their path.

The sound of a haunted house next to an eerie lake marks the opening of These Paths We Tread. With haste, this dissipates as “My Leviathan” opens up to ricocheting stoner riffs that shoot from the hip. There’s a distinct lack of fuzz and haze to the guitar tone; silky lead melodies and clear riff-patterns create a sterile heavy-blues tone that lacks any real sense of “feel.” A vocal duel takes place during the main parts of the song as sweet cleans clash with gruff shouts and screams, book-ended by bluesy licks and basic stoner riff patterns. Little else really happens in the song as it ebbs back to the solemnity of the eerie lake. Follow-up track “So They Walk” is even more sterile and bland. Guitars attempt to groove but lose balance quickly. In a similar vein to recent Black Stone Cherry, it lacks the dirty catchiness and genuine dam-busting heaviness that BSC and Morass of Molasses — on their E.P. — once had. The southern twang shines like porcelain, but I get the feeling it’s meant to sound like churning mud and alligators battling.

The album succeeds when the impetus is taken away from heaviness and is placed into the realm of the crimson sting. “Serpentine” opens with a moodier steadiness before breaking into mid-paced grooves that stab through the mix like steaming needles. Reminiscent of a dessert sunset, the song simmers at a cool temperature and succeeds because of this rather laid-back casualness. The dreamy vocals during the verses flutter like a mirage as the heavier riffs and terse bass-line act as the muscle car surging into the night. At the five-minute mark, the song transitions to starry mellowness: windy background noise whistles and guitar lines flutter with a foreboding airiness before building to a satisfying, if measured, crescendo.

Morass of Molasses 2017

“Maenads, like “Serpentine,” also succeeds due to its sullen steadiness, holding back and letting its subtle grooves, creeping bassline, and fragile melodies weave organically. At the 3:30 point the song begins to naturally build in pace and intensity, ending with drum rolls, spiraling guitars, and bluesy panache. “Wrath of Aphrodite,” too, is a genuinely fun song. So fun, in fact, that I accidentally found myself tapping my foot to its simple groove. I remedied this by playing a SunnO))) track in one ear and a Jute Gyte track in the other. “Aphrodite” is sexy and slick; like a cheap lady of the night it gets the job done with few frills and enough energy to satisfy, but I don’t think I’ll be re-visiting.

As a whole, These Paths We Tread is forgettable. A few moments provide a smidgen of eye-opening excitement but in the grand scheme of things, there’s much more you could be listening to. This bluesy-stoner musical landscape Morass of Molasses’ explore has a million other bands battling Mad Max style to reach the holy mountain.  The hard-rocking spirit of Deep Purple et al. is the engine and the modern blues-stoner scene is the decoration, though the engine should have been replaced decades ago. I expected a lot more and the score reflects my disappointment. Although not awful by any means, I can’t see myself consciously revisiting These Paths We Tread. As a live band, however, Morass of Molasses usually pack their sound with punchy fuzz aplenty, and I expect some of the songs here will sound multiple times better in a live setting. Power to the amp, I suppose.


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: HeviSike Records
Websites: morassofmolasses.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/MorassOfMolasses
Releases Worldwide: May 19th, 2017

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  1. Never has a more Brit-centric sentence been featured on AMG. – Steel Druhm
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  • Javier Merino Ortiz

    Such a shame, the artwork is pretty cool

    • Diego Molero

      If I had a penny…

      • Drew Music

        The saddest fortune ever.

  • Maximos662

    I’m not quite getting into the music, but damn! that is some of the best art so far this year.

  • Drew Music

    Not to be… well, not That Guy, but some guy… anyway: better *than, as in you people are better than that. Solid review otherwise, but that line in the intoductory paragraph derailed the whole build-up for me.
    I apologize in advance if this leads to lashings and the like. Unless you’re into that, I suppose, in which case I hope they instead bring you somewhere bright and cheerful to let Happy Metal Guy gently hug the living shit out of you while the Amaranthe discography blares nonstop, B-sides and all.

    • You wot m8?

      Not the B-sides…

    • Blasphemy.

      • Drew Music

        Editorial oversight must come with a price, and we’re all unique little snowflakes with our own individual hopes, dreams, and fears; I want to make sure everyone suffers accordingly, one man’s Heaven is another’s Hell and I just want to be sure that there will be no happiness.

        • Thatguy

          Sounds good to me.

          Not the music – your world.

          • Drew Music

            This dream of mine is definitely possible, your support is a hell of a start. It could be made into a monster, if we all pull together as a team.

    • Akerblogger

      I’m well overdue a couple of lashings. I make mistakes because I want lashings.

      A public thank you to Steel, Madam and Dr. G for having to wade through our mistake ridden rants and transform them into semi-comprehensible music reviews.

      misT8ks wont happun agen!1!

      • You go through lust, greed, pride, jealousy, gluttony and vengeance on your daily commute alone, and you’re on the lookout for a good lashing.

        The first part is a bit alarming until learning that you spend 85% of your time on public transport.
        The latter stil makes me a bit uncomfortable.

        • Akerblogger

          All aboard the masochistic express!

          You should see how I spend the remaining 15% of my time. Lashings aplenty.

      • The_Martus

        So, is a ‘dessert sunset’ what happens when you watch the sun go down over your choc-brownie and ice-cream?
        Sorry, I just wanted to be that guy too – and I know I’m 2 weeks behind to no-one will read this anyway…

  • You wot m8?

    Why is it that anyone who makes stoner-doom always looks exactly as you’d expect them to look? It’s uncanny.

    • Akerblogger

      You need a beard and a beanie to enter the School of Groove. If you can’t grow facial hair you may as well join the Djentelman’s Club for the Tone deaf cause the School of Groove isn’t letting you in!

      *I can’t grow a beard*

      • Mollusc

        Maybe they blew the fuzz pedal budget on beard products.

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        Or they’re Nashville Predators hockey fans and thems be playoff beards.

      • basenjibrian

        In a few years and a few pounds they will be riding recumbant bicycles!

    • Brent Johnson

      You want buzzcuts and v-necks? =)

    • Thatguy

      Thats why the Band Photometer works!

  • Drew Music

    I don’t know if I’m proud of or disappointed in all of us for leaving the sordid plethora of syrupy butt jokes the band name offers alone.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      How about some anagrams? Salsa Serf Moos Oms. Formal Ass Osmoses.

  • Choodi

    I knew this would be crap when i saw how badly they had misused the Greek alphabet. If you haven’t got enough attention to detail to get that right, you probably wont make any music worth listening to.

  • Thatguy

    This is not very good is it? ‘Forgettable’ is the best that could be said about it.

    I’m a bit stunned at how they ended the embedded song. I haven’t heard that particular cliche for years and I feel violated.

    • Akerblogger

      Metal’s supposed to make us feel violated and exposed. Maybe they’ve succeeded in doing what so many other bands have tried but failed to achieve. This truly is the fourth wave of black metal.

      • Thatguy

        No, no, no, no, no.

        I chose my words badly. I guess I should have said cheated not violated. The outro riff was the kind of crap a second rate cover band would come up with to replace a fade out ending.

        I had hoped never to hear such a lame thing again so I felt that my trust – this is metal and that won’t happen – had been violated.

        • Akerblogger

          I was merely kidding. I knew that the outro riff cheated you in every way Mr. Guy. It’s lame, limp and lazy songwriting.

          • Thatguy

            It did occur to me after I posted that you were having a lend of me.

            Well played.

      • You wot m8?

        Amaranthe are the true fourth-wave frontrunners.

  • Bryan Stroup

    Sometimes it’s just better to promote your album with a “video” that only shows the album cover. In this case, it would have been just as varied as the actual video, and probably more pleasant to look at.

  • a glass o’ milk

    Another band that is seemingly oblivious to the nonsense they produced by using Greek letters :-D

    • GardensTale

      I don’t even want to attempt to spell out the letter-by-letter translation, but for those not in the know, what they used for an E is actually a capital S, the S they used does not exist, and as Half-Life fans should know, their A is an L. Basically every letter is wrong.

  • ElectricEye

    Nothing says metal like a swamp full of sorghum syrup.