'Wijsgeer And Narreman' is the first release by black Metal duo Laster from Utrecht in the Netherlands. This is a three track EP spanning twenty-one minutes and is a concise slice of atmospheric black Metal inspired by JW Goethe's 'Faust'.
The sound has a lot more depth than you might expect from a two piece outfit but with W Damiaen (Omninihilist, Sea Of Trees, Willoos, White Oak) covering drums, vocals, bass and lead guitar and N (Northward) covering rhythm guitars and vocals, the album has a robust yet wonderfully oppressive sound which is also very reminiscent of the early days when black Metal was new, fresh and still had that exciting raw edge.
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On my first listen I found myself on the third track before I even realised how far into the EP I had gotten. This is an observation and not a criticism and its occurrence was to a largely due to the tracks flowing together pretty seamlessly.
There is a also a tendency for your mind to drift along with the sound because of the hypnotic quality that emanates from the deep layers of distorted guitars. Add to this equation the dual vocals which serve to add more depth to the sound and the excellent drum work and you have a winning combination.
The EP opens with 'In Levenskolken, In Dadenstorm', an amalgamation of distorted guitar rhythms and howling, screeching, haunting vocals that have a distant quality to them.
'Tot Eenheid Verweven' begins on a scream over haunting distorted guitars and continues where 'In Levenstolken...' left off.
The final track and the longest also, 'Wijsgeer Ende Narreman' is by far the superior track, so much emotion and atmosphere is built into it. It contains some interesting and excellent percussion and an excellent acoustic break at the six minute mark. This is the point where I was pulled back into reality and realised just how far into the EP I had gotten.
It acts as a welcome interlude before the finale, an assault of screams, layers of guitars and drums creating a very powerful ending which then fades gently out.
'Wijsgeer And Narreman' is an interesting EP. I recommend giving it at least two to three consecutive spins to get the feel of it and I am looking forward to hearing a full length album, hopefully in the not too distant future.
'Wijsgeer And Narreman' is out now via Dunkelheit Productions.