Laster – De Verste Verte Is Hier

Rating:  4.5/5 
Broken Limbs
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Released: 2014
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Band line-up:

S. – all instruments, vocals
N. – all instrument, vocals
W. Damiaen – all instruments, vocals

  1. Alles wat mij bevalt, ontvalt me
  2. Tot de tocht ons verlicht
  3. Ik – mijn masker
  4. De verste verte is hier

Laster’s 2012 demo ‘Wijsgeer & Narreman’ was a good indication that the band already met all the conditions to produce a good black metal album. It was a solid, melancholic record charged with a depressive atmosphere with amazing vocals and melodic leads, all contained in the 3 songs. Despite the potential, it was missing many elements to be considered extraordinary. Well, the band was definitely worth keeping an eye out for; the new album  ‘De verste verte is hier’ improved on practically all fronts.

Not being a particular fan of black metal, I must say that listening to this album from beginning to end was a sheer joy. There is a definitive goal within the music contained on the tracks, which is pure atmospheric black metal.  The sound in particular is a true achievement here. It is a combination of an overdriven ‘buzzing’ sound with fast drums and nice subtle bass in the background. The vocals are the typical desperate growls hidden somewhere in the background, yet they are constantly drawing your attention despite the absolutely inaudible lyrics.  The final production puts all these elements together, resulting in a proper black metal sound that somehow feels crystal clear even through the ongoing ‘chaos’ in the background.

Laster takes you on a musical experience, musically very similar to the likes of Gris and The great old ones, and damn, they do an outstanding job at it too. Each song has a raw and cold layer around it, hiding a warm and emotional core, radiating from within; the album is an experience from beginning to end with no dull parts.

The track ‘Tot de tocht ons verlicht’ is a really good example of the desperate ambience the band creates, with a melodic intro that unexpectedly turns into a fast-beating aggressive tune, only to surprise you again with a change of tempo growing into a church choir with some madman singing the praises and finally blowing you away by a fast blast-beating outro. There is also some experimenting on the final track “De verste verte is hier” which is not a typical black metal song, in the sense that there is a very distinct keyboard sound holding a theme around which the rest of the song builds with the drums not really playing a metal rhythm, yet it fits the atmosphere perfectly.

Despite being a full length album, there are only 4 tracks on ‘De verste verte is hier’ but don’t be mistaken – the entire album is  almost 45 minutes long and with the exception of the last track, every song is over 10 minutes long.  This is an album to put some good headphones on, close your eyes and let the music create images in your mind, whatever they may be. The excellent song writing combined with flawless production results in an amazing atmospheric black metal, definitely worth listening to. This is a black metal surprise of 2014.

Review by Adam Zelenay