Laster – Ons Vrije Fatum (Review)

LasterLaster are a black metal band from the Netherlands and this is their second album.

We’ve met Laster before, both on their debut album De Verste Verte Is Hier and on their split with Wederganger. Both times they’ve impressed with their atmospheric black metal, and this continues with their newest release.

Once again the band have a field day creating textured atmosphere that’s full to the brim with feeling and mood. Elegant touches and nuanced enhancements abound, as Laster further develop their sophisticated and mature approach to atmospheric darkness.

The vocals are led by razor-thin screams that seem capable of slicing through the very air. Occasional cleans add extra emphasis to the proceedings, and other vocalisations make their impact felt too when they appear.

This is music that takes a sophisticated view to emotive structuring; the songs are written with a textured, multi-faceted approach in mind, and proceed accordingly. The resulting compositions have a lot of content to explore, and across the album there’s 55 minutes of grade-A material for the listener to absorb.

There are some very enjoyable understated melodies and riffs on this release that contribute to the songs in addictive ways. The fact that these can also be hot-spots for experimentation is even better. Roughly halfway through Helemaal Naar Huis there’s a great example of this, with a repetitive guitar punctuated by emotive content and spoken word, before tapering off into a saxophone solo…it reminds me of Arcturus and is a great example of Laster spreading their wings and expanding their musical vision.

I like that they’re continually pushing themselves to improve, rather than simply re-treading the same path. However, I also like that they’re doing this gradually rather than in leaps and bounds, which means every time they release something it builds and expands on what came before it, as opposed to casting it aside and starting afresh as some bands can occasionally do in the name of progress.

When I’m in the mood for some atmospheric black metal that doesn’t just swamp everything in keyboards or progressive/post-metal tendencies, Laster are one of the first bands that come to mind. They’re very good at what they do and only seem to be getting better.

Check this out as a priority.

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