Laster - De Verste Verte is Hier
Dunkelheit Produktionen
Atmospheric Black Metal
4 songs (44' 50")
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Andy

Dutch black metal outfit Laster's first full-length, De Verste Verte is Hier, rejects most of the post-metal atmosphere of many modern black metal bands in favor of their old school influences -- this is a band that has a lot more in common with Austere or pre-prison Burzum. And yet, post-metal influence is there, deep under the mix, and the resulting combination is enjoyable, if not particularly original.

Alles Wat Mij Bevalt, Ontvalt Me doesn't take more than a minute or two to get underway with gentle but insistent guitar riffing that cuts loose with a blast of drumming. Everything is surprisingly toned down, though -- the whole mix is soft, the vocals and drums are partially buried under the guitar, and transitions meld together as the song works its way through. At odd moments, the bass is oddly prominent. While the riffs aren't too memorable, they have a similar effect to Burzum's repetitive riffs as well, blending together in a trance-like state. Tot de Tocht Ons Verlicht, however, is far superior, having a grand, tragic melody backed by tormented shrieks of agony. It definitely has more of an atmosphere and is just a harder, darker song, even when it fades out to a church choir with organ music, since the vocalist is still miserably howling, in tune with the choir.

Ending with feedback screams, it transitions to Ik - Mijn Masker, a faster but less melodic piece that features a strange sound, deep yet abrasive, that I couldn't quite place -- a different distortion pedal than the previous set of guitars? Synth? The world's biggest kazoo? Probably synth...anyway, I liked that sound, at least, though even with the lead guitar layered in over the rest of the guitar noise, the quality of the song melody-wise is nothing to write home about. At the end of the album comes the title track, which starts with a rock 'n' roll beat accompanied by buzzing low-fi synth and deep and clean (though unintelligible) singing that reminded me of the sound on Kinstrife & Blood's sole album. The drums get more complex and the guitar gets into the mix part-way into the song, and the vocals get more ominous and spoken, as if De Verste Verte is Hier is the buildup to a prophecy of doom.

This is a mixed bag. I didn't care much for the first and third tracks, but Tot de Tocht Ons Verlicht made the album worth listening to, and the title track is quite enjoyable too. Most old-school atmospheric black metal listeners will probably consider this listenable, though anyone who wants modern interpretations or originality, despite Laster's occasional nods to that sort of thing, might wish to look elsewhere.

Killing Songs :
Tot de Tocht Ons Verlicht
Andy quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Laster that we have reviewed:
Laster - Wijsgeer & Narreman reviewed by Alex and quoted 75 / 100
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