Subtle beginnings. A calm layer of tranquil synth, the minute long intro track entitled ‘Aanvang’ gives little away and will leave the unsuspecting with a nasty little surprise as the riff barrage / drumming blitz of ‘Nachtwandeling’ bursts forth with a suitable amount of aggression and vitriol. So begins the tale of ‘Vossenkuil’, the third studio album release from Belgian one man Atmospheric Black Metal band Ande. As the track progresses a more melodic side emerges from the gloom, a lurking presence concocted through a liberal use of heavy bass work, modern sounding slower riff-age similar to the signature Winterfylleth sound in places and a steady lumbering pace that off-sets the more brutal onslaught of the songs genesis. in truth though at over eight minutes in length ‘Nachtwandeling’ does start to wear a little, overstaying its welcome just a little with an aimless rhythm made up for slightly by technical proficiency.
With a more methodical pace, a more atmospheric attitude and a more haunting vocal range, ‘Beverdansen’ is a stronger track than the previous incumbent whilst never really setting the world alight. As it progresses though the melodies get catchier, the tone rising and from a slight bout of mediocrity comes a much more energetic sound, though it has taken the best part of a quarter of an hour to reach this point. ‘Eeuwig Vuur’ is a pleasant interlude, folky, slow, cold and my only real bone of contention here is that just as things had kicked into a higher gear the tone of the album is brought crashing back down to earth. Still, with a slightly punkier sound, ‘De Hutten’ ratchets the pace back up with a symbol crash party that gives way into furious blast beats, harsh vocals and rampaging, if a little generic riffs. Sporadically things improve with more slower, harmonic passages before again ramping up the intensity.
In summary, ‘Vossenkuil’ is a decent album, a little uninspired for my tastes and underwhelming for a large percentage of the time but showcases a man whose technical prowess on all instruments is impressive. This of course is all one man’s opinion and a matter of personal taste so I’d highly recommend you check this one out for yourself. (Heathen of the Horde)