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Āter – Vullighied Award winner

by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 28 April 2020, 5:08 PM

ĀTER actually started off way back in 1996 as a solo project. It didn't do much because the artist, Wesley Beernaert, often had the opportunity to join touring artists as lead vocalist. Somewhere in 2004 it seemed as if ĀTER was going to turn into a band, in reality it only left Wesley Beernaert with session guitarist Mantorok. They both finished the EP; Wesley wrote 12 extra songs. Then the worst happened, a flood… All computers were broken, with most of the material lost. Years later while moving Wesley found an old hard drive, broken, but luckily was able to recover 4 songs, remastered them and replayed the bass and some guitar parts. And there you go. The EP "Vullighied", written in an almost 1000-year-old dialect of Flanders. A bonus song was added to the end. The EP was released on most digital platforms (Bandcamp) but the physical version, which will be printed on demand, has an extra intro and song. Meanwhile, ĀTER is no longer a solo project. Wesley has had the incredible luck to have had been approached by people way more capable than himself to write songs and record them. This EP has been released because history should not be lost, and it interludes the new Era of ĀTER as a new band.

’d Oere” kicks off with no warning, no intro, just raw aggression. Good start. The vocals are clear enough if you speak the tongue. The instrumental side of this song is very well-balanced and the opening harmonies run smoothly. The melodies between band members runs with ease and creates a good overall approach. It’s a good opener for the EP, sets its stall out for exactly what to expect. More of the same please. “De strontroaper van Abjille” starts in similar vein, strong again. Very much similar styles as before, not really any changes, but if its not broke as they say. The tempo and aggression are high once, but it remains well-balanced which is an art within itself. This could be confused with carrying on from the first song as being one longer song.

Oes vorvoadern vochten” has a more progressive, technical start. Which is good so you know it’s a new song. Certainly, an older style, more 90’s Black Metal approach, which considering when this band started makes total sense, the tempo is fantastic. Not as much going forward vocally, but when the instrumentals sound this good, who cares? “Valkennacht” continues with the 2nd wave vibes which we are all accustom to as Black Metal fans. The tempo is solid, the pace is set to control the song well. Whilst this material is nothing new on the whole it is great to hear it executed by a new performer, it suits the band greatly and I could listen to an album full of sounds like this. It’s a good song.

Diatomacious Ooze” is the bonus song mentioned before. Certainly, has a more Death-infused vibe to it. The vocals are in English, which is a shock for me at this stage in the EP. The vocals are sharp, more Industrial if I’m being honest, but the mix actually works winders. The song gets really experimental, weird as fuck additional sounds, but it still keeps in balance so it works really well. It’s a funky song, which breaks the mould of the sound for the rest of the album. Not a bad trick.

Let’s get one thing straight from the off, I do not speak Flemish, so I have no idea what was said at all. Now that’s out the way, there are 3 different sounding styles here. All 3 are separate and work really well within in their own songs, each one breaks the sound style between another so the EP is presented really well. You fill an album with these 3 styles and it will go down really well. Great album.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. 'd Oere
2. De strontroaper van Abjille
3. Oes vorvoadern vochten
4. Valkennacht
5. Diatomacious Ooze
Wesley Beernaert – Vocals
Graaf Nevel – Guitars
Luca Viperini – Guitars
Brecht Debrouwere – Bass
Jerry Winkelmans – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 03 February 2023

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