Thursday 28 October 2021

Hulder - Godslastering: Hymns Of A Forlorn Peasantry

Labels: Iron Bonehead Productions

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 22 Jan 2021


1. Upon Frigid Winds

2. Creature Of Demonic Majesty

3. Sown In Barren Soil

4. De Dijle

5. Purgations Of Bodily Corruptions

6. Lowland Famine

7. A Forlorn Peasant's Hymn

8. From Whence An Ancient Evil Once Reigned

Following my review of Grabunhold's 2021 album the other day, here's the second early 2021 Iron Bonehead Productions review as promised. It features the debut album from Belgium/USA solo black metal band Hulder. Godslastering: Hymns Of A Forlorn Peasantry was released back in January on vinyl, cd, tape and also digitally. The project began in 2018 with the release of two demos, before a demo compilation and subsequent EP followed in 2019. 2020 saw a number of promo/single releases leading up to the album itself. Hulder played it's first US live show in support of the album in September alongside Mortiferum and Vouna.

I’ve read a few things about Hulder before but nothing compares to listening to a band, so ten or so months on from this album’s initial release, hear I am. Album opener ‘Upon Frigid Winds’ is a mix of both biting, cold black metal and folk instrumentation. This is a solo-project but don’t expect the sound to be thin, like it was recorded in a bedroom, because it sounds anything but. Driving percussion and guitars provide the backbone for this release, with the former providing an industrial-like tempo on ‘Creature Of Demonic Majesty’. The vocals are delivered in the traditional black metal style that you’ll no doubt be familiar with if you’re an avid genre fanatic, while ambience is added via synths and other instruments. That’s a kind of general description but what more is there to say.

Hulder’s approach is definitely one that’s true to black metal of old and with the lines continually being blurred and pulled in different directions musically, that’s not a bad thing at all. The urgency of ‘Sown In Barren Soil’ certainly plays it’s part in cementing that approach. It’s upbeat in tempo, which keeps momentum high and the listener interested. The mood changes with the onset of ‘De Dijle’, with it’s gentle guitar intro and the sound of soothing running water leading you into equally gentle melodies and some sinister whispered vocals. Ghostly is probably the right word for it as the song meanders on, building in volume slowly. It’s actually Godslatering’s longest song, breaking away from the dialled-up extremity, though not fully escaping it.

The second half of the album gets underway with the atmospheric riffs of ‘Purgations Of Bodily Corruptions’, which is a mid-paced number filled with organ melodies and a slightly joyous side, to these ears anyway. Without making it sound cheesy, there is something Halloween-like about it.  Whereas ‘Lowland Famine’ that follows is much more piercing and extreme. I wasn’t poking fun at Hulder’s song-writing before, so please don’t get angry. I was just describing how I heard it. There’s no doubt that this album should be taken seriously for it’s complete content and this song proves that. 

Penultimate song ‘A Forlom Peasant’s Hymn’ stands out for it’s clean vocals that make up almost a third of it’s length before Hulder once again launches into it’s true black metal stride. I have to say that the initial clean singing fits the album well and dare I say, I’d like to hear more of it. It reminded me a bit of the likes of A.A. Williams and Emma Ruth Rundle (more recently), or going farther back, elements of The Gathering. There’s time for one final majestic, orchestral black metal hymn to take over, with ‘From Whence An Ancient Evil Once Reigned’ providing an engrossing and enjoyably finale to the album. 

Godslastering… is one of those albums where you’re always left guessing to an extent. While it’s made up of very solid black metal, it’s also got many elements that you may not be expecting, making it one that retains your attention and admiration.

You can stream and purchase the album digitally via bandcamp below, where you can also buy it on cd and tape if you so wish:-

Hulder -

You can also buy the album on all physical formats from Iron Bonehead Productions below:-

Iron Bonehead Productions -

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