The Netherlands has been a quite fertile breeding ground for extreme metal in recent times. The impenetrable blackness of Gnaw Their Tongues and Post-Black Metal wizards Cold Body Radiation are to name but a few of the exciting artists emerging from this small Northern European country. Another band sure to compel many is Fluisteraars, who have finally released their first full-length five years after their first demo, Beringheim, in 2009.  

Those who may have bothered to visit Google Translate may be jumping to conclusions already regarding the name of the band and the album – which translate as “Whispers” and “Dreamers” respectively. Although this might have readers thinking Fluisteraars would be more of the Agalloch or Alcest ilk than the brutal Scandanavian Black Metal of the early 90’s, this is by no means an indication of what is to follow. The result is a more than decent mix of the two. The other piece of information I was able to garner from a quick search is that the band share their name with a book by British Historian Orlando Figes about the grimness of life in Russia under Stalin, but I doubt there is a real connection there.

Much in the same tradition as 21st century luminaries such as Wolves in the Throne Room and Altar of Plagues, Dromers has only a few songs but each one is of considerable length. Fluisteraars provide a barrage of riffs yet still employ dynamic sensibilities. Opener “De Doornen” jumps out of the speakers confidently, a storming mid-tempo riff, before breaking down into gorgeous sweeping passages of melodic leads and eldritch acoustic guitars, echoing the finer moments of Opeth and Primordial. Particularly impressive is the interplay between the bass and the twin guitar harmonies – for example, the riff halfway through “Kuddedier” features the bass leading the exquisite melody beneath the two guitars. The closer is a solid collage of windswept riffs and savage blastbeats that ties of the album nicely, if unspectacularly.

Dromers will undoubtedly be the first of a myriad of Post Black-Metal releases this year, given the en vogue nature of the genre at present. I’ll certainly be giving this a spin for months to come, as it is compelling enough to warrant repeated listens which in turn reveal more facets of the sound of Fluisteraars.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jack Taylor
January 7th, 2014


  1. Commented by: stiffy

    Heard this on their bandcamp last week. Going to grab the vinyl. Awesome sound.

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