Fluisteraars
Gegrepen Door de Geest der Zielsontluiking

So here’s an odd one, so bear with me here. I fell in love with this dreamy, ‘whispering’ Dutch atmospheric black metal duo with 2020s Bloem, which made my year-end list that year and subsequently purchased prior albums Dromers and Luwte.  I had no idea this album was even coming out until I found out about it after its release via a friend on Facebook, and instantly checked it out.

I was initially a bit perturbed by the weird new logo font and cover art as well as the release only being 3 songs and 35 minutes long but figured these guys were too good to pass up any new material no matter how out of the blue it was, but I have to admit I’m a little disappointed in Gegrepen Door de Geest der Zielsontluiking (which google loosely translated to “Gripped by the Spirit of Soul Blossoming”?), despite a couple of highlights.

This seems to be the band’s sort of Nattens Madrigal (Ulver). Though the production isn’t quite as raw, it’s much more caustic, less melodic and the duo appears to be much more primal, angry, and less dreamy and atmospheric as Bloem, lacking some of the swaying, sexy riffs, and even trumpets in favor of a harsher, bleaker approach. There is also a lot of instrumental wandering filler. case and point opening 8-minute track, “Het overvleugelen der meute” (“Outflanking the Crowd”?), where the first 6 minutes is pretty straight-up second wave black metal with harsh screams over repetitive, brittle tremolo-picked riffs. But then there is about a minute of noises and some drums before the song ends with a more straight-up black metal furor, with just a tiny hint of the band’s prior sway.

The second track, “Brand woedt in mijn graf” (Raging in my Grave”?), is about the same with a few minutes of direct, frosty riffs and the last couple of minutes of just random noise. Neither of these first two tracks really got me interested in the EP or revisiting either of them. However, the last track , “Verscheuring in de schemering” (“Shredding in the Twilight?) is where things get a little better and certainly is the highlight of this release. It’s 20 minutes long, and while it does have several moments of wondering noise scattered around, it also delivers the release’s go-to riffs with a couple of stunners that show, when this duo locks into a solid riff, it simply kills.

It takes a while to get to the money shot, but it builds, and you can feel it coming, and around 2:00 you get the first one, and it thankfully continues for a few good minutes of shrill, melodic brilliance. But then after one of the band’s trademark sways, its more rather gratingstatic and noise for the track’s midpoint that goes on way too long until the 12 and a half minute mark, where the duo uncorks a fucking glorious, uplifting, harmonic gallop that’s to die for and almost makes the prior 25 minutes of filler worth the wait.

Still, even with that song, Gegrepen Door de Geest der Zielsontluiking is a little bit of a letdown as a full album and follow up to Bloem. It feels more like a stop-gap, filler EP sort or release. I hope that is the case and the duo continues to release more albums like Bloem  and less like this in the future.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 3rd, 2021

Comments

  1. Commented by: Indignant_N00b

    For me, the best thing they’ve done since Dromers, and the best black metal album of this year.


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