|Verses in Oath
|9th of February, 2024
|20 Buck Spin
Diversity has long been a foreign concept, especially in metal community. In a genre that is characterized by conservative ideas, it is difficult to fight your way to the top of the scene. As early as 2021, the black metal project Hulder managed to generate a lot of attention with their debut Godslastering: Hymns of a Forlorn Peasantry. On February 9th, the long-awaited follow-up, Verses in Oath, will finally be released via 20 Buck Spin.
The rough production fits the sound of the record perfectly. Anyone looking for light and sunshine here will wait in vain. “Boughs Ablaze” combines a dark and morbid mood. Everything that is still alive should decompose in the dark moors after this song. The sound of the keyboard immediately brings back memories of the second wave of black metal. It’s like being transported back to a long-forgotten time, to experience the rise of bands like Emperor, only this time it’s Hulder.
The sometimes-playful riffs have a mystical, almost fairy-tale-like effect. A symphonic outpouring, which is strongly reminiscent of the great works of Satyricon or Enslaved, is probably the best way to describe Hulder’s songwriting. Tracks like “Hearken The End” show how multi-faceted black metal can be. The use of clean vocals, which are strongly reminiscent of a choir, are just one of many examples.
In many places, the latest work by Hulder seems like a homage to black metal. Song by song, you go through the various stages and the history of the genre, it almost seems like a time capsule. “Vessel Of Suffering” feels like a ritualistic offering. Marliese, the heart and soul of the band, manages to deliver an atmospheric sermon on this track.
At first glance, Verses in Oath may sound like a typical black metal album from the 90s. But there is so much more behind it. The symbiosis between symphonic and brute elements, paired with a rough production, results in a theatrical masterpiece. 2024 begins with what is probably a very important release for the black metal scene.
Hulder‘s latest album probably belongs in every well-stocked record collection and will most likely count as one of the most important releases of recent years.