Following on from 2017’s well-regarded Exiled, Punished…Rejected, A Grey Chill and a Whisper is well-received and quite exceptional. Across 65 minutes Beltez brutalise and mystify with a compelling tale of darkness and despair, but with some glimmers of hope.
A Grey Chill and a Whisper paints vivid pictures with materials consisting of elements from old and new black metal, with strong melodic, atmospheric, and post-metal influences apparent in the end result too. A Grey Chill and a Whisper is a journey into the narrative world of Beltez’s dark artistic vision, and it’s an extremely capable, well-rounded, and satisfying one.
This is a very expressive piece of work. The songs have been well-constructed and considered. Everything from the individual song components to their flow, pacing, and holistic characters has been carefully thought about and then delivered with skill, talent, and passion. The attention to detail here is very important, adding great depth and value to the songs, with plenty of strong ideas and creative flourishes. Every song has something unique to recommend it.
The songs are heavily atmospheric and immersive. They’re hyperaggressive when they need to be brutal, and calm and reflective when introspection is required. There’s a lot between these extremes also, obviously, and Beltez seem to be able to excel in whatever they try their collective hands at. Some of the melodies here are just exquisite and drip with emotion, for example.
This is an album that’s seriously impressive on first listen, and then just improves after that. As a concept-driven contemporary black metal album A Grey Chill and a Whisper is hard to beat. I can’t recommend this highly enough. I’ve listened to and thoroughly enjoyed a lot of black metal this year, but I have to say that A Grey Chill and a Whisper stands out as one of the best.