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Hulder – Verses In Oath

hulder – verses in oath


One of Black Metal’s brightest rising stars is without a doubt Hulder. Already with the band’s earliest output Hulder, the only sole behind the band, knew how to impress. Although nothing new was being presented with anything she released, everything was pretty much being kept within the frame work of raw Scandinavian Black Metal, it was her great sense of excellent song writing in which she excelled. But with 2022’s ‘The Eternal Fanfare’-EP she started to widen her scope. She began experimenting with a more dense and darker sound, and now, on her latest offering, Hulder is clearly continuing to push these boundaries.

In the review for ‘The Eternal Fanfare’ I cited that with a meatier drum sound and rougher vocals the music ended up at the crossroads between Behexen (‘The Poisonous Path’), Hate Forest (‘Most Ancient Ones’) and a band like Grave Miasma or maybe even Aeternus (‘Shadows Of Old’). ‘Verses Of Oath’ clearly picks up where she left off earlier, it still has that almost-but-not-exactly Death Metal approach in the density of the overall sound, but the album is again bringing Hulder in uncharted territories.

Besides the blasting pace (as for instance heard on the title track), there is much more room for atmospheric passages. A song like ‘Hearken The End’ perfectly captures what Hulder anno 2024 stands for, it sounds both powerful but also knows how to weave in some delicate melodies and atmosphere. The dynamic found in between the blistering speed and muscular riffs on the one hand and the almost dreamlike pieces form a musical landscape full of dizzyingly deep chasms and looming heights. Take for example the angelic intermezzo ‘An Offering’ that erupts into one of the album’s most compelling tracks, the furious and overwhelming ‘Cast Into The Well Of Remembrance’.

With ‘Verses In Oath’ Hulder proves that she is still developing her musical visions and stretching the boundaries of what seemed to be possible with the framework of the band. Nowhere on the album she loses control and is able to captivate throughout the full 40 minutes of the album – a rare thing nowadays. Hypes come and go, but Hulder is surely living up to all expectations.

20 Buck Spin

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