Album: Gegrepen Door de Geest der Zielsontluiking
Release Date: 27/09/2021
The band hail from the Bennekom, Gelderland, an isolated rural area of the Netherlands rich in mysticism and folklore. The state that this has had a unique effect on their music and listening to this album I would have to agree. The two piece is made up of M. Koops (music and arrangements) and B. Mollema – (vocals, lyrics and artwork). Together the project’s two members make music with such a full sound that you could easily believe that there were several additional members.
The album is primarily a blend of atmospheric and depressive black metal, this influence makes up the vast majority of its essence. However, mixed into this are elements of heavy psych, drone and post-metal. At times these elements are subtle and aren’t presented in the traditional sense but if you pay attention, you will be able to find them. Simple things like spacey faded effects being applied to the vocals or unusual trippy instrumental moments will take you by surprise at various points on the album.
However at other points on the album the subtlety is dropped and things take a very open and direct turn. One such example is the 6:30 mark on the opening track Het overvleugelen der meute where the music completely stops being black metal and shifts entirely into the psychedelic realm. The remainder of the track is a mind altering rhythmically drummed offering with meandering, spaced out guitar parts and heavy drone influences. You’ll find plenty more of this on the album’s monumental third track Verscheuring in de schemering which comes in at over 20 min. At various points in the song such as between the 9:30 and 13 marks things get very spacey and psychedelic once again. This song also features some fantastic post-metal elements. Despite all of these less harsh elements the song manages to also feature some of the harshest vocals and instrumentals on the album, a testament to the band’s range and diversity.
As far as the instrumentals are concerned, you’ll find some truly beautiful depressive guitar work throughout the album. The tone employed by M.Koops carries a seriously impressive amount of emotional weight to it. When you pair this with the raw shrieked vocals that carry an even greater level of raw emotion the album becomes one that really connects with the listener on a deeper level. The drum work has plenty of variety to it and can be both furious and unrelenting and calm and mesmerising as is required of it.
While you have the more standard black metal tropes of incessant and furiously fast paced riffing and drum work at points on the album, this is not the case for the majority of the release. Rather, things unfold at a gradual pace that allows each element space to breath and each track room to grow and develop as it unfurls. Each track on the album is a journey that the listener is taken on, one that branches out in a unique direction and has its own unexpected twists and turns. One thing the band must be praised for is the seamlessness of the transitions they make between vastly different styles of music. Songs will flow from raw emotional elements to hypnotic spaced out moments, to relaxed beautiful post-metal parts and will never at any point feel forced or disjointed.
On the whole this was a fantastic listen and I highly suggest the album for anyone who enjoys atmospheric black metal. Personally, I very much enjoyed the unique psych and drone based elements that the band brought to the table. These helped the release stand out that much more from those of its contemporaries. I look forward to what comes next from Fluisteraars,
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