Mouth of Satan calls again in sticky project Molasses that travels new paths on debut EP

Photo by Esther Van Waalwijk

It’s always sad when something passes before its time truly comes. I’ve felt that way about The Devil’s Blood ever since their creator and guitarist Selim Lemouchi took his life in 2014. That put an end to the band, quite obviously, and it seemed they were just blossoming into something great that would create astonishing music well into the future.

But the Dutch occult spirits were not only catapulted by Selim. His sister Farida, known as the Mouth of Satan, was just as impactful to their music, as her compelling, almost operatic vocals sparked the message behind the mission. In fact, it was her voice that grabbed my attention on their debut EP “Come Reap,” and it is what led me to become devoted to their three full-length records (yeah, “III: Tabula Rasa or Death and the Seven Pillars” is spotty, but there’s very good reason or that), and it was Farida’s performance that kept me entranced during the single time I got to see the band live. So, her disappearing into fog also felt devastating. Until recently. News broke that Farida would make her return at this year’s Roadburn to perform with a new band Molasses, and on Friday, their two-track EP “Mourning Haze/Drops of Sunlight” landed. Let’s get this out of the way: Don’t expect the Devil’s Blood. The music does not try to resurrect what was and instead goes down a different path, albeit in the same darkened woods. Farida is as powerful as ever, and she’s joined by former DB members Oeds Beydals (guitars), Job van de Zande (bass), and Ron van Herpen (guitars) along with new players Marcel van de Vondervoort, Bob Hogenelst, and Matthijs Stonks to round out this exciting new venture.

“Mourning Haze” trickles in and opens up some proggy psyche rock that feels like it was conjured decades ago and only showed its face now. Keys drizzle, while Farida’s singing swells and then pulls back to softer tones later. The track lets in some jazzy ghosts, and then a spirited vibe creates insane colors before the reins are held back, and the track melts in with the horizon. “Drops of Sunlight” is the longer cut of the two at 9:19, and it starts with quiet chimes before guitars bloom and the gallop is launched. “Loosen the veil and let the blood flow,” Farida commands, while the pace is calculated for a stretch as if it’s hunting. Mesmerizing melodies loop and soothe, while Farida wails, “Just when I thought there could be no more confusion, you wander back.” The track spirals and strengthens its connective tissue, while the song makes it final burst with elegant playing and a jolt that rumbles the ground.

It’s but two tracks, but the first strains of Molasses are promising and an absolute spirit lifter for all the dark energies in our hearts. It’s not the Devil’s Blood 2, nor should it be as those tales already have been told. This is a new start for Farida Lemouchi, her former cohorts, and the new members they picked up along the way who will cast an ominous shadow far different than the one you knew before.

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