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Hemelbestormer - Aether

Hemelbestormer
Aether
by Garrett Davis at 12 January 2017, 10:18 AM

HEMELBESTORMER is a Dutch word that is loosely translated to “Heaven/Sky Stormer” and means ‘someone with revolutionary ideas’. An imperial blending of Sludge, Black Metal, and Post-Rock, this foursome forgoes vocals and chooses to speak with their music instead. The Instrumental scene has always seen varying amounts of success for those who brave its waters, and HEMELBESTORMER are sure making a splash with their second solo album “Aether”.

A slow and dramatic introduction builds up to an oppressive track that blankets you in darkness. As the tension steadily builds until it explodes into powerful drumming and fierce guitar riffs,“After Us the Flood” announces itself as a strong first entry. Unfortunately, it is a strong opening that overstays its welcome; for after a solid 5 minutes a silent section convinced me the track was over, but there was a good deal more waiting. The track tapers off towards the end in such a way that left me wondering why it went on so long. Granted some sections were definitely worth waiting for but more volume usually makes for a better introduction to hook your audience.

I honestly wanted to like this album and give it a glowing review, but I just couldn’t excuse some of the lengthy minutes of what is basically just dead air. “Starless” is another grim slowdance with the reaper that builds atmosphere and tension which sadly don’t really go anywhere - this is also the shortest track at just over 12 minutes long. “On Desolate Plains” would have been five minutes shorter if not for five minutes of whispering behind an agonizingly long single note. I love atmosphere in my music, and can dig melodramatic Black Metal, but this was just an exercise in self-indulgence.

I will say that what I loved of “Aether”, I really loved. The tension that builds up at some points is really enticing, but I just don’t feel like it paid off in the end. I always try to absorb the composition as a whole and then try to pick out individual instruments. In “Aether” I just felt like the drums faded too much into the background and for once, I really missed vocals. Still, give it listen and show some support for bands that are putting out their own art, and maybe it will be something you enjoy.

Songwriting: 5/10
Originality: 5/10
Memorability: 2/10
Production: 3/10

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. After Us The Flood
  2. Starless
  3. The Purging
  4. On Desolate Plains
Lineup:
Frederik “Cozy” Cozemans – Drums, Samples, Synths
Kevin Hensels – Bass
Jo Driesmans – Guitars
Filip Dupont - Guitars, Samples, Synths
Record Label: Debemur Morti Productions
     


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