2015’s Luwte was an engaging affair, full of icy atmospheric black metal delivered with character and much promise for the future. That future is apparently now.
Bloem develops Fluisteraars’ sound further down a more individual, psychedelic route, while still maintaining an atmospheric blackened approach. The core second wave heart that the band clearly have is intact and well, augmented by elements of folk rock and psychedelia, and the end result is a record that’s absorbing and moreish.
Despite what initial impressions may give on a purely cursory glance, Bloem is not your usual atmospheric black metal release. The album is enhanced in places by additional personnel, (choir and string quartet), and instruments, (piano, tambourine, timpani, trumpet, and trombone), and these are used with creative skill to enhance the band’s frosted core with extra layers and levels of interest. Each song has its own theme and is its own world. As the album progresses it’s clear that the band are taking you on a journey, with their soundscapes only becoming more well-developed and comprehensive as the running time flows by.
A balance between raw darkness and brighter delicacy is frequently achieved across these tracks, with many melodies and tasteful songwriting ideas employed to provide a level of emotive depth that a ‘standard’ second wave/atmospheric black metal band might lack. A clear passion has gone into this album, and the music occasionally has a loose, lively feel to it that comes from energetic delivery, rather than any sloppiness on the band’s part.
Bloem is a potent collection of songs, and a highly enjoyable one at that. Make sure you delve deep into the world of Fluisteraars.