NEWS: Laster Signs with Prophecy Productions; New Album in the Works

 
Atmospheric metal band Laster has signed with Prophecy Productions. The Netherlandic group, which formed in 2012 and refers to its ferocious sound as “obscure dance music,” is currently hard at work on its third full-length release and follow-up to last year’s Ons Vrije Fatum (Dunkelheit Produktionen). Laster‘s Prophecy debut is expected in 2018.

A uniquely gifted band with a singular, solitary sound, Laster plays metal with all its fury, but its music could also be described as progressive (i.e. Crack the Skye-era Mastodon), atmospheric, experimental, and even jazz-like. Attempting to categorize Laster‘s elaborately textured and ever-changing style is like trying to catch air with a net; it’s difficult to describe, but “atmospheric blackened shoegaze space prog” should provide a shadowy sense of what to expect. The band has the ability to stun first-time listeners with the utter violence of its initial impact which is unapologetically harsh, particularly with regards to the vocals which morph from flesh-peeling shrieks to ugly, gasping growls, harsh whispers, somber spoken words and rising yells of anguish. Despite its gruff exterior, digging into Laster‘s compositions reveals many layers of complexity.

Prophecy has been part of our musical development since we were in our early teens. Inviting each other to this dance feels like a proper and weirdly magical gesture,” comments the band when asked for a statement. “At the moment we are in the middle of the writing process. The record will be an expansion of Ons Vrije Fatum. A bit more technical. A lot more nocturnal. City vibes. Some more dissonance. Experimental.”

 
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Laster – De Verste Verte is Hier, Sordide – La France a Peur (2014); Cantique Lépreux – Cendres Célestes (2016)

LASTER PROMO COVER

LasterDe Verste Verte is Hier (Dunkelheit Produktionen, 01 November 2014)

 

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SordideLa France a Peur (Avantgarde Music, 21 December 2014)

 

Eisen103_cover_1000

Cantique LépreuxCendres Célestes (Eisenwald, 18 March 2016)

 

My calendar is lying to me, I am sure of this. How could it possibly be only Tuesday, when it already feels like this week has lasted about sixteen years?? I have no reasonable or logical explanation. Anyway, as I sit here watching the seconds creep by, I might as well get something written to share with you folks. How does some atmospheric black metal sound? What about albums by three different bands, who approach “atmosphere” in three different ways? And — rather peculiarly — what about a unifying theme between all three albums that just might make you want to get up out of your chair and dance? What if all these questions were rhetorical, because no matter what your answer, that’s what you’re getting anyway?

 

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Now Available: Laster – Wijsgeer & Narreman (FREE Download!)

 

LasterWijsgeer & Narreman (cassette release 01 June 2012, CD release 01 August 2012; both via Dunkelheit Produktionen)

 
Good afternoon, readers! Are you having a good day so far? I hope so. I know it’s still Monday, but at least it’s almost over, right?

Anyway, I’ve got an excellent serving of black metal I’d like to share with you all. Laster (“libel” or “defamation” in English) is a two-piece band from the Netherlands. Each of the members is also involved in other musical projects, but they both use initials as pseudonyms (and both are credited with “vocals and all instruments”) so it isn’t much use trying to discuss that.

In fact, outside of their city (Utrecht) and country of origin, pretty much everything else about this band is mysterious. They don’t even have a Facebook or Myspace page (as far as I have been able to discover). In a way it’s a shame, because I do like to find as much information as possible so I can be more knowledgeable about what I’m writing about.

At the same time, isn’t part of the allure of black metal its arcane nature, that sense of mysteriousness? Perhaps sometimes the ease with which the internet has put nearly limitless information at our fingertips can actually detract a bit from the magic? Turn the extraordinary and unique into something familiar and commonplace?

In any case, that’s the extent of the details I am able to share. Even the EP title and each of the three song titles have aluded my translation (via Google) abilities. I’ve been able to pick out a few words, but not enough to decipher anything meaningful. For example, the record is called Wijsgeer & Narreman; apparently the first word means “philosopher” or “sage” but the second part has no results however hard I try searching. Perhaps one of my helpful Dutch friends will want to offer some assistance?

 
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Out Today: Funeral in Heaven/Plecto Aliquem Capite – Astral Mantras of Dyslexia

Funeral in Heaven / Plecto Aliquem CapiteAstral Mantras of Dyslexia (25 February 2012, Dunkelheit Producktionen)

Isn’t the internet an awesome thing?  I mean, seriously.  For those of us who are old enough to remember what life was like before, how much awesomer is it now that you have instantaneous access to pretty much any information you could ever want, anytime, anywhere?  Compared to back when you had to rely on just what you could find in books at the library — during the hours when the library was open?  Or, how much more convenient is it to be able to buy pretty much anything you can imagine, from any store anywhere — instead of having to physically go to your local store, again only during the time they were open, and settle for whatever they had to sell you?

Out of all of these things, though, probably the greatest benefit of the internet is not being able to find whatever you are looking for, but rather finding shit you never even had any idea existed.  Stuff you wouldn’t have dreamed about existing.  Now that we are able to communicate with all sorts of people all over the world, it’s amazing what sorts of craziness we now have access to.  Take music, for example, because obviously that’s what I’m eventually getting around to talking about.  Growing up, my only option was to go to the local National Record Mart or Camelot Music (both of which closed up shop ages ago, by the way) and browse through whatever tapes or CDs they had on their shelves.  I was able to hear some songs on the radio or on MTV, and if there was one that I especially liked, I could see if that album was in the store (and hope the rest of it was good, too).  Occasionally, I could rely on friends to introduce me to some things that I might not have heard elsewhere.  But mostly, I had no real way to discover new music aside from just randomly buying something and crossing my fingers.  Not being particularly wealthy, I wasn’t usually able to take risks like this, unless I was digging through the clearance bin (which did result in a few winners, but not often).

Nowadays, though… our musical options are literally endless.  There are so many places where you can sample new songs, new albums, new bands, even entirely new GENRES.  I never would have imagined that so much variation existed out there, or that I’d ever have the ability to be directly in touch with fans and bands from every corner of the globe!  Even without the internet, I knew about metal bands from places like Germany, Sweden, or Brazil, but in recent years that has definitely expanded to include way more parts of Europe, South America, Russia and the Far East, and even parts of Africa.  More recently still, the spotlight has increasingly been shone on the Middle East and India, and I am just ecstatic at the expanding knowledge I am gaining and the way my worldly musical experiences are growing ever wider.

Today, I am listening to a split release from two blackened metal bands from Sri Lanka, and if I’m not mistaken, this is the first music I’ve ever heard from that island nation in the Indian Ocean.  Naturally, I’m thrilled for the opportunity, and hopefully you will be too, so I am glad to share with you: Astral Mantras of Dyslexia, which consists of Astral Mantras by Funeral in Heaven, and Dyslexia by Plecto Aliquem Capite.

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