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Moss Eater – Damage

Moss Eater
by Gary Hernandez at 14 January 2020, 11:13 AM

MOSS EATER is a single-person (aka Sam), Post-Metal project out of Reading, England. On November 15, 2019 Sam released his second EP, “Damage,” an emotive, Doom-infused slab of metal. The EP includes four tracks, times out at just under 26 minutes, and features guest guitarist Ed (acoustic guitar on “Sleeping but Not Dreaming” and lead guitar on “Autumn Lungs”). Both musically and lyrically, the album is raw and authentic, exploring a range of difficult emotions and experiences through multifarious compositions. The first track, “The Night Circles In” establishes a foreboding atmosphere, layered with scratching feedback. The thick fog is soon washed away by a repetitive, comforting melody. Just as we settle into the melody, though, it is smashed asunder with down-tuned riffs and guttural vocals. This oscillation between relentless aggression and uneasy surrender is mirrored in the lyrics: “Darkness come, take me into you / Darkness come, take my hand” and echoed in the remaining tracks.

Track two, “Damage,” takes us to the central theme of the album. The song begins with another soothing melody but is quickly rebuked with clawing feedback and then blasted apart with harsh vocals and pounding riffs. The lyrics unfold a story of pain inflicted and trauma endured; the music reflects the fluidity of the emotions from rage to hurt to all the stuff in-between. The outré to the song is as the intro, a harmonious acoustic melody. Sam’s accompanying vocals drop from shouting to a strained whisper, suggesting growing distance rather than softening sentiment. “Sleeping but Not Dreaming” is an acoustic instrumental. As noted above, this where Ed, guest guitarist, makes his first appearance. Although the song doesn’t have vocals, it does have lyrics. As the title would suggest, the song fills us with a troubled comfort. Our bodies may be at rest, but our minds aren’t. Perhaps we are remembering, perhaps forgetting; either way, it’s unlikely to be a restorative slumber.

We then segue into “Autumn Lungs.” The two minutes extend the soft tempo of the previous track, but with a quieted, feedback-infused lead guitar solo weaving in and out. All that ends, as it always does, with a metal onslaught. This onslaught, unlike the others, is filled with full-noted chords, though the vocals are still harsh and guttural. This final song addresses the “we” instead of the “I” and expands from an interior to a cityscape, if not society writ large. What we thought was one person’s narrative is perhaps a shared story. Though with differing details and plot twists, the conclusion may be universal: “As all we do feels meaningless, / feels like nothing. / A dead language, left on my legs.”

In 1993, Robert Walser published “Running with the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music.” His primary thesis — there is much more to Metal than most people realize — was news to everyone except metal heads. Metal is not only a music for people who think, but for people who feel. “Damage” by MOSS EATER is clear evidence of this.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. The Night Circles In
2. Damage
3. Sleeping but Not Dreaming
4. Autumn Lungs
Sam – Synth, Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Drum Programming, Feedback
Record Label: Coffin View Collective


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Edited 31 January 2023

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