eMOLECULE – The Architect (2023)

eMOLECULE - The Architect (2023) - full

It has been a decade since the release of ‘Dimensionaut’ the critically-acclaimed debut album from Sound Of Contact. Now, former SoC members Simon Collins and Kelly Nordstrom return with the new band eMOLECULE and the debut album ”The Architect” which showcases the pair’s unique brand of songwriting and musical composition regarding melodic progressive.
Collins solo albums have plenty of melodic hooks, however eMolecule seems determined to screw with traditional songwriting structure and only offer a couple of songs which have the musician’s characteristic pop sound on them. The rest are from a much darker dimension, ultimately making for compelling listening when given repeated exposure.

The lengthy band title track opens the album with grating electronics and a lead guitar fanfare of sorts until we get to the drone of the main body of the piece. Mysterious, shadowy and sufficiently creepy, the layered repetition of themes can’t help but become addictive as we succumb to the walls of distortion and intriguing effects that Nordstrom produces from his guitar. When an extended ambient guitar section – bordering on Floyd’s “Echoes” – finally climaxes into an explosive return of the main theme, it’s a highlight moment.
Next up is the title track of the album name, “The Architect”, a searing blast of dystopian angst. Even an atmospheric tender musical interlude in the middle is filled with disturbing narration until the riffs return.

Only two tracks in and the album has already established a very dark but captivating atmosphere. There’s no escape in subsequent songs “Prison Planet” where Collins’ big bang drum hits bring deliverance, or “Mastermind” which starts off eerily and descends into a trapped claustrophobic setting as the narrator takes total control. “I’m here to save you and then betray you, eternal cycle you’re my disciple.”
As the inevitable “Dosed” follows, our subjugation is complete: “There’s no use in trying, it’s clear I’m dying. I am a ghost, now I’ve been dosed.” Yet it’s one of the best on the album.
The mostly-instrumental “The Turn” promises to offer a bit of reprieve with its simple piano motif and slow build of spacious guitar layering. But at the four minute mark we’re assaulted again with distorted chords and heavily processed vocals of angst and infected loathing.

After this onslaught run of six songs it’s hard not to feel somewhat suffocated by the futuristic tyranny of the material. eMolecule doesn’t claim this to be a concept album but it sure feels that way given its nightmarish dystopian visions.
Thus, the song “Awaken” almost feels too much like a 180, ushered in by Collins’ soothing and melodic voice over gentle synths and guitar strums. This has all the makings of a pop hit, even the electronic beats conjure memories of ’80s hits by Collins Sr, along with some wonderful guitar from Nordstrom. It’s a welcome if unexpected lightening up of mood, as if we are awakening from a very bad dream of the subject matter in the album’s first half.

The vibe doesn’t last long, however, making “Awaken” more of an outlier on the album than the start of a new direction. “Beyond Belief” and especially “The Universal” finds the dark tech returning in a wall of sound.
The album attempts a ballad of sorts with “My You”, one of the few calls back to the “Becoming Human” vibe, and an actual traditional guitar solo from Nordstrom rewards the listener towards the end.
Finally, “Moment of Truth” almost offers a duet between Nordstrom and Collins on lead vocals, alternating between a cautionary narrative and an uplifting chorus. Yet they can’t resist letting it all go to hell in the final minute with a proper chaotic thrashing of guitar stabs and drum hits to close the album.

Whew. If it sounds overwhelming, that’s because it is. Yet there’s enough unique creativity and sheer force to make this an album worthy of attention.
At 80 minutes long, the onslaught might be too much to take in one sitting but the quality is maintained throughout. Astonishing sound design and programming relentlessly adds to the chaos and unique production of the album.
Collins and Nordstrom appear to be creating music of the future, an ethos which is the essence of progressive rock.
Highly Recommended


01 – Emolecule
02 – The Architect
03 – Prison Planet
04 – Mastermind
05 – Dosed
06 – The Turn
07 – Awaken
08 – Beyond Belief
09 – The Universal
10 – My You
11 – Moment of Truth

Simon Collins: Vocals, drums, keys, sound design
Kelly Nordstrom: Guitars, bass, vocals, keys, sound design


Pre order:

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.