MOTHS “Space Force”

By Dr. Abner Mality

This Puerto Rican collective has space on the brain and the concept of it dominates their debut album here. I’m hoping and praying they’re not recruiting for Trump’s military space brigade also known as Space Force. I doubt it.

How to describe these guys? I think progressive rock with a spacy side does the trick. The music here runs a gamut from mellow jazz fusion to 70’s influenced retro rock to harder edged material that features death metal growls. The prog touches are both modern quirky stuff and very classic at the same time. The main vocals are female, but a lot more earthy than the usual bombastic divas heard in the metal scene...don’t expect the next coming of Tarja Turanen or Floor Jansen here. The death growls are not really convincing...true death metallers will laugh them off, but they are too growly for the fans of prog and melodic rock that might otherwise be attracted to MOTHS.

It’s interesting to follow the ups and downs of the record, but it doesn’t quite hang together as well as it should. I keep in mind this is a band that is still developing and finding its own path. The record starts with delightfully cosmic and cool jazz fusion in “Space Cowboy’s Ballad”, which serves as the intro to “Broken Slumber”, which jumps from DREAM THEATER-like prog to heavy parts with growls to a kind of 70’s feel. “Awake” starts with grinding riffs and is the most overtly “metal” song. “Unbound” is almost pure stoner rock with a cool groove...some CAPTAIN BEYOND and DEEP PURPLE going on here. “There’s No Place Like Space” is a brief instrumental almost like ALLMAN BROTHERS meets DEEP PURPLE but it ends with a weird flurry of space noises. The title track ends things with a kind of fusion meets DREAM THEATER vibe.

Not sure where MOTHS is headed, but outer space seems a likely destination. I’m not sure if they themselves know…