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Atmospheric masterpiece - 90%

DivineDevil, September 12th, 2007

The right word to describe this release must definitely be "black metal". Everything that black metal is based on you can find back on this release, medieval texts, high guitars (although they are not so high-pitched that you think you're deaf after listening to this at a reasonable ammount of decibels), very fast, blasting drums, and you can even hear the bass, which I keep failing to do in most black metal releases.

Let's start with the guitars, as common in black metal, they are not quite difficult, but mostly very fast and with a medieval atmosphere around it. The intro adds to this atmosphere a lot, too, where there are some synths playing a medieval tune with a very medieval kind of drum at the background. But for the atmosphere, this album has to rely almost entirely on the guitars and the vocals, the guitars are very fast at some times, just to go slowly after a little while, and then go ten times as fast, which adds a lot to the atmosphere, knowing (even if you don't understand the Dutch texts) where the exciting parts are, and which parts are used to build up to reach these parts. The album doesn't know a lot of choruses, which is quite common in black metal, but which I think is a shame anyway, that's why I especially listen to "Hoer van de Zeven Hemelen", or "Whore of the Seven Heavens", which has a chorus that I like very much, because it's basically an explosion of extreme fast guitars and drums, with lots of blastbeats and quite calm vocals on top of it, which make it quite special to listen to. And however similar the guitars sound on every song, it is still easy to identify the different songs, which I think is quite an accomplishment if you are playing black metal ;).

As I have stated, the drums are mainly very fast, lots of blastbeats, and very much quite the same. This is per song, because in every song the drums sound different, however, he does have a thing for playing one or two different rythms in every song, which tends to get boring after a few songs. The drums are therefore the main reason why I haven't given this release the full score, but that's not only it.

As I have said at the beginning, I can hear the bass quite well on this album. That would be good, but the problem is, he too plays a lot of the same riffs, but he doesn't really add any atmosphere or anything to it, so I don't really care that I can hear them, because they are just not very good.

Vocals here are typically black metal, but not a real "screech", as you hear on many other albums, they are definitely higher than a grunt, but they are not as high as most black metal artists. Does it matter? No, not really, it still gives a lot of atmosphere to the album, which is the main thing I like, because you can't really call it a technical masterpiece, but you can definitely call it an atmospheric masterpiece.

Fluisterwoud - Langs Galg en Rad - 85%

Nocturnwinter, October 17th, 2005

The first full-length album is a big improvement on their demo 'Een Sinister Schouwspel'. The music itself wasn't bad, but I was slightly irritated by the vocals, which were more like whispering (fitting, because Fluisterwoud means 'Whisperwood').

After the intro, the first track 'Een Sinister Schouwspel' rages and establishes the tone for the entire album. This album is raw, fast and brutal; they don't sound like a simple Darkthrone clone, though Darkthrone influences are clearly present (which isn't a surprise really). All lyrics are in Dutch, at least a beacon of difference in the masses of Black-Metal-bands-with-standard-english-lyrics.

The guitars are brutal (listen to 'Hoer van de Zeven Hemelen'), the drums are fast and furious and the production is quite decent. Sagelinge's vocals are sick and digusting. All ingredients for a dirty Black Metal band. Lyrical themes are Death, the fall of christianity, and a notorious group of 18th century bandits, known as the 'Bokkenrijders' (= Goatriders), who were rumoured to be satanic raiders who rode goats through the skies of the southern Netherlands.

Standout tracks are 'Hoer van de Zeven Hemelen' (=Whore of the Seven Heavens) and 'Langs Galg en Rad' (a Dutch proverb).