I have been a fan of black metal, for a very long time, and people often say “How you can like a genre that is just ‘noise'”? However when you come across the new album from Alastor entitled Waldmark it is clear that black metal is so much more. Formed in Austria back in 1996, with lyrical themes about Nordic nature, darkness and mysticism. Waldmark for me is a beautiful piece of art, with Burzum influences throughout, mixed with beautiful melodies in a dark and elegant manor, mixed with vocals and lyrics that just paint images in the listeners mind.
The first track on the album entitled “Old Glacial Lake” is a beautifully composed track with raw hand heavy vocals mixed with melodic and almost atmospheric riffs, with gritty vocals that just come together in harmony. The first track on the album is a song that is easy to get into, plus influences of old-school Satyricon being a major theme in this track.
Another song on the album that stands out for me personally is the title track “Waldmark” with an introduction of melodic guitars which mix flawlessly with the hard-hitting drums. The vocals on this track again are hard and heavy and sound very influenced by early Norwegian black metal. This track also stands out for me because the song is complete with the changes in tempos throughout which again just grab the listener by the ears, and as the track progresses the melodies from the track also progress with it making this track an absolute gem on this album.
“Longing for the Winter Kingdom”, the final track on the album, is complete with hard-hitting drums, heavy melodic guitars and a mixture of clean and heavier vocal style, which again gives the impression of the band being influenced by earlier Burzum – definitely not a bad thing in this case as this adds depth, and again manages to paint pictures in the mind of the listener.
This album for me is just perfect to say the least, made up of beautiful melodies and the elegance of the riffs with the hard-hitting drums, and the depth of the vocals just seem to work seamlessly. Even the album art looks incredible – like something out of the works of Tolkien, which adds to the themes and influences that run throughout this magnificent album. It is without a doubt an amazing piece of art.
Waldmark is available to pre-order now and a limited number of vinyl copies can be picked up from Winterblast Halls’ bandcamp page.