With a huge upmarch for “low-lands black metal” from Belgium and The Netherlands with bands like Wiegedood, Dodenkrocht and Oathbreaker it’s really hard to stand out.
Slechtvalk returns to the scene with a new album called Where Wandering Shadows And Mists Collide. This band is a slow burner, they have been around for 20 years this year and they have only produced full length albums. They sure do take their time. Which is good because they only deliver quality, well thought out metal.
First things that were really obvious for me were the influences for Slechtvalk. They obviously take metal approaches from the likes of Dimmu Borgir, Stormlord and maybe even fellow countrymen Carach Angren. Fast and mid paced black metal with a keyboard. Kudos to Slechtvalk for not overusing the keyboard in the mix. The album is well produced and seems to stand up to the quality anno 2017 Ad.
The first song I really enjoyed was Asternas which is the second song on the album. With a very good marching sound on the drums it seems to reach its goal of making people like it’s a battle song.
The pro’s and con’s on this album are easy to name for me. First of all it is an enjoyable listen for almost any kind of metalhead. Personally I would have loved to hear more distinctive vocals and different approaches to them. The vocals all sound the same and that is a shame. If you already use Dimmu Borgir in your songwriting why not imitate Shagrath a bit more and change up the vocal style once in a while. A big pro for me was the production value of the album. Sound-wise it sounds very 2017 and does not get left behind.
Overall the album is a great listen for fans of folk metal, black metal and viking metal and for almost every other metalhead there are some elements you can thoroughly enjoy.
My only worry is that the “low-lands black metal” scene is a little overflown and this album will not stand the test of time amongst the likes of Carach Angren, Wiegedood and Oathbreaker.
We will see the outcome of that.