Morass of Molasses – End All We Know Review

Sometimes we who labor in the Promo Sump pass things around – like gorilla beatings and heirlooms of shits and giggles aplenty. However, we also pass promos. While we clutch to greatness like Quasimodo on Esmeralda’s corpse and keep one finger on things we would rather forget about until next release, we pass on forgettable things, hopefully to a loving home. Morass of Molasses is one such heirloom. Debut These Paths We Tread was overseen and immediately bitch-slapped with disappointment by the gone-but-unforgotten Akerblogger, while follow-up The Ties That Bind was stamped with a big fat “MIXED” by the master of all things prog, GardensTale. Will End All We Know behave and which step-parent will be around for the next go?

I’ve always rooted for the Reading trio, enjoying their blend of NOLA-inspired sludge and bluesy hard rock. Ultimately, there is little changing about Morass of Molasses’ third attempt at greatness. Aptly molasses-thick sludge grooves meet bluesy melodies and wild drumming, while a bearded bro shrieks into the mic. Inject a lil stoner vibe, and you’ve summed up everything to expect. It’s warm, cozy, and groovy with a nice vintage vibe. Aside from mammoth heft backing up the grooves and Bones Huse’s manic shrieks, End All We Know is remarkably inviting compared to much of the metalverse. While it does little to remedy its bout with forgettability due to one-dimensional vocals and lack of charisma, it is just a nice album with enough uplifting qualities to warrant a few spins.

Ideally, Morass of Molasses cashes in good influences, borrowing the stoner/sludge weight of Weedeater, the southern rock spirit of Lynyrd Skynyrd, a proggy melodicism reminiscent of Pink Floyd, and a relaxing vibe of Jethro Tull. The Brits are chock full of thick riffs, blues scale abuse, and a touch of experimentation, all through the vitality of a hippie jam sesh. Tracks like “Slingshot Around the Sun” and “Naysayer” are pummelers, resting upon the massive pillars of huge sludge riffs, the southern-fried grooves settling heavily into the ruts of the brain. Meanwhile, the penultimate three tracks feel like Beatles tracks deep-fried and fed to Eyehategod’s guitar techs, uplifting and smoky enough for hippie vibes but reinterpreted through an intense drug-fueled weight. Also to their credit, while GardensTale pointed out an excess of chill interludes that pumped the breaks in their last outing, these are done with more tasteful dashes, a plucking acoustic guitar and flute improv sprucing up tracks like “Wings of Reverie” and “Hellfayre.” End All We Know dwells in mammoth weight and psychedelic haze, and its mix of warm guitar and rumbling bass ensure that every note is heard with precision and depth.

However, Morass of Molasses cannot figure out how to make its thick-ass sound as sticky as the moniker denotes. Every single track on End All We Know is listenable and allows for great air-guitar solos, but “Terra Nova,” “Prima Materia,” and “Wings of Reverie” end up being the most memorable, when Morass of Molasses has finally hit its stride. “Slingshot Around the Sun” is most suspect, that while it deals in the best riffs on the album, it waddles back and forth between threatening brutality and uplifting major melodies without appropriate transitions. Furthermore, while the jam sesh works great for the crescendo of the latter half, it falls apart in “Sinkhole” and “Naysayer,” which are too long and repetitive to be executed precisely. However, aside from the various songwriting misses, the vocals are one of the most damning pieces. While other sludge vocalists drip with charisma and spit poison, Bones Huse is content mumbling in the background, because the mix favors the instrumentals. This is frustrating because his ferocious shrieks and soft croons could add further dynamic, but the refusal to utilize them puts a further burden on the instrumentals, which grow wearisome especially in End All We Know’s relatively forgettable first act.

I enjoyed End All We Know. Did I enjoy it more than The Ties That Bind? Maybe, but Morass of Molasses’ mix of potentially earthshaking influences shout louder than its execution. If Jimi Hendrix joined Ufomammut, it would probably sound like Morass of Molasses: plenty of killer sludge grooves, rock ‘n roll attitude, and just enough experimentation and stoner haze to go down smooth. The vocals and uneven performances still plague Morass of Molasses in spite of its uniquely inviting palette and dooms the trio to yet another score of mixed reception. I just wonder who will be around to review the next one.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: PCM
Label: Ripple Music
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: March 24th, 2023

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