Label: Babylon Doom Cult Records
Release date: 25 February 2022
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording
Meslamtaea is a band from the Netherlands that has been around since 1998, and it started as a one-man project, being that man Floris Velthuis (Schavot, Asgrauw, Sagenland) who did everything in their debut album, “New Era”. And even if the band has been almost quiet since then, in the last three years Meslamtaea has released three albums of what I’d dare to say it’s one of the most original Black Metal styles I’ve ever listened to.
Of course there are plenty of blast beats, tremolo riffs, and sonic aggression coming from Floris vocal style (he can deliver sick and brutal shrieks like a possessed), but there are also mid-paced tempos and beautiful melodies, that (in my opinion) are used to emphasize the sense of complete despair that I firmly believe Meslamtaea wants to spread the world. And in “Weemoedsklanken”, the album I’m reviewing today, there’s also a lot of experimentation. Let’s talk about it…
The first half of the album is more into Black Metal genre. It starts with “Weemoed” (it means “Melancholy” and it’s a very appropriate title, I think), the three first minutes are calmed, gloomy, and have a somber feel. It leads to “Rad des tijds” (“Wheel of Time”), this song is played in a faster tempo, right from the start tremolo riffs and blasting drums explode in your ears. All along with those characteristic furious shrieks and some spoken/shouted phrases, and some distorted choruses. Next two songs are in the same vein, and you’ll notice a few ambient passages that already show it’s not a conventional Black Metal album. The bass has a bit of predominance sometimes, this helps to enhance the whole sound, it creates a more deep atmosphere.
The second half (side B of the vinyl) is a different thing, with the addition of a saxophone and a flugelhorn, it’s time for jazz fusion! Some people can love it, some others may hate it, but what must be recognized is the great creativity of Meslamtaea adding all these elements to Black Metal. “Moegestreden” (“Weary”) has a delightful saxophone passage, the tempo is more akin to jazz, all the elements very well mixed together. And “Uiteengevallen” (“Disintegrated”) is the perfect piece that makes sense as a closing theme of this album. A bit hectic and experimental, even furious (because of the vocals)… It sums it all up.
This album looks like the accurate evolution from Meslamtaea‘s two previous releases, as I said it’s more experimental, more “jazzy”, deepening in that special style that Floris and Ward created together in “Geketend in de schaduw van het leven” (2020): they were showing a jazz-oriented type of Black Metal in this album, with the use of a saxophone and non-conventional song structures. In “Weemoedsklanken” all this is more amplified: it’s more jazz-sounding, more experimental, more diverse.
I need to make a special mention of the cover art, done by Maya Kurhuli (who plays drums in the Black Metal band Blackdeath), how awesome it is! Just look at it carefully, try to catch all the details of such a catastrophic, insanely bleak scene! This artist portrays a hopeless future, with tons of astonishing details, it really fits the music in the album; even if I don’t understand the lyrics ‘cause are sung in Dutch, I can feel all the desolation… Maya also did the cover art for the two previous Meslamtaea albums, always depicting images of a bleak future for Earth and those who survive the apocalypse.
Experimental, fusion, Black Metal… all well mixed up with great skills and creativity. I give it 8,5/10 Sílvia
8,5/10 To Greatness and Glory!
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