Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Laster - Ons Vrije Fatum


Tracklist:

1. Ons Vrije Fatum
2. Binnenstebuiten
3. Bitterzoet
4. Helemaal Naar Huis
5. De Tijd Vodr
6. De Roes Na
7. Er Wordt Op Mij Gewacht

I'm a bit annoyed with myself for not writing last night; however, I'm making up for it now with this early-2017 full-length from Dutch post/black metal band Laster. "Ons Vrije Fatum" was released via Dunkelheit Produktionen in January and Laster followed it with a performance at April's Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, The Netherlands. This otherworldly trio has always been a captivating proposition but with atmospheric and avant-garde black metal growing in popularity, Laster might have found their true form.

Something tells me that this isn’t going to be an easy listen and despite the extreme tones on opener Ons Vrije Fatum, you can see where Laster are coming from when describing their music as “Obscure Dance Music”. They mix their black metal with melody, subtle samples and occasional gang vocals/clean singing. These textures and more make this record more varied that you might think. Their instrumentation later on in the song verges on cinematic. There’s plenty of musicality coursing through Binnenstebuiten. So much so in fact that it will appeal to more than just extreme metal fans. The dissonant guitars often gives way to melodic passages, while minimal percussion allows said melody to come to the fore, with elements of jazz and also strings playing their part too. There are multiple movements within the song, where Laster moves from the cinematic sound I mentioned to a bleaker and altogether more orthodox black metal one. It’s a subtle switch that takes time to become fully apparent. 

Bitterzoet is really catchy, with it’s upbeat tempo and rock-influenced guitar work. It’s way more fun than you’d expect from something that has it’s roots in extremity but that’s probably one of the reasons for the band’s Roadburn Festival appearance earlier in the year. It’s one of the most open-minded music festivals and takes place in the most open-minded country in Europe, so go figure. Like their countrymen Terzij De Horde, they’re not afraid to let their emotion show and Helemaal Naar Huis has a palpable sense about it. The screams are delivered in a way that makes them sound way more human than any “trve kvlt” shriek could. It’s also an incredibly progressive song but not in a head scratching way, which is good. The Saxophone is really soothing during the song’s second-half and really adds to the excitement that jumps out through the recording, which itself is great by the way. 

Laster sees fit to break things up with a short instrumental piece by the name of De Tijd Vodr. It works because of the atmosphere that’s woven between both the traditional and modern instrumental layers and the dissonance of the guitars, once again. De Roes Na begins with a sense of peacefulness but it’s brief, as the song quickly turns into one of the more black-metal heavy songs on “Ons Vrije Fatum”. There’s still a lot going on though and boundaries that need to remain broken. During their vocal harmonies, they remind me a bit of Baroness. There’s one more chance for you get your avant-garde freakiness on with closing song Er Wordt Op Mij Gewacht. Moments of strange serenity are interspersed with uber-fast drumming and tremolo picking that goes some way to reminding you of where you are, musically at least. This record makes you reassess the way you view black metal and it’s done in a brilliant way. There’s fluidity to it. You should listen to it in one sitting to really appreciate it. It's incredible. 

You can stream the entire record via Laster's bandcamp page below, where it's available to purchase digitally or on tape, cd or double black vinyl:-



Laster - https://www.facebook.com/lasterspraak/

All formats are also available from Dunkelheit Produktionen here - http://www.dunkelheit-produktionen.de/presta/en/12-dunkelheit-releases?page=2

Dunkelheit Produktionen - https://www.facebook.com/dunkelheitprod/

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