Laster – Andermans Mijne Review

What a weird band Laster is. As a name in the ever-expanding roster of strange, wailing, and skronk-toned black metal spilling off the banks of Utrecht, Netherlands, the three cloaked comrades join the ranks of other regarded underground acts like Grey Aura, Nusquama, and Verval—each featuring a Laster member no less—truly pushing the bounds of what the genre can harbor. Unsurprisingly then, our former penman Lord Lucan recounted after experiencing 2017’s Ons vrije fatum that “Dutch atmospheric blackened shoegazing space prog is an actual thing” that Laster had defined. And continuing their penchant for head-scratching genre music, 2019’s Het wassen oog continued down the path of Dødheimsgard or Arcturus-inflected theatrical black metal with lounge jazzy croons, sudden blast beats, and twisted, hypnotic melodies, still ringing Laster despite its sharper attack than prior. Now four years down the road, and with an art direction that screams contemporary museum in the face of their more grounded dancers of their past, does this trio possess still a showcase for their unpredictable yet enticing sound?

For better or worse, Andermans Mijne1 contains much less of the shrieking black metal fervor that broke up the hallucinations that expounded across previous genre-loaded outings—the change in art direction makes sense as you listen to these crisp and contorted tunes. And with these new equally disarming passages, Laster has chosen to lean into a bottom-bumpin’ post-punk energy, leaning on the hypnotic charges of Killing Joke and off-kilter yelps and dives of Talking Heads alike, and passages of 80s lounge jazz fusion a la Pat Metheny with a crooner twist. Don’t worry, though, there’s enough metal in the mix to keep the mods at metal-archives happy.2

Andermans Mijne by LASTER

Fittingly, these deceptive Dutchmen expect you to predict the next bar and play around with that idea to build tension. In tracks that lead with steady, mesmerizing, and overwhelmingly bright guitar rhythm (“Andermans mijne,” “Achterstevoren”), Laster builds a twisted sense of familiarity that they test with tears into sudden but smooth blast beats and funkified bass pops. For other moments that hit quickly bouncing tempos and synth-layered swirls (“Poetische Waarheid,” “Vorm Alleen”), the switch in madness comes from bridge breaks fit for a dance party of one in your home office or bedroom. And given Andermans Mijne’s extreme metal-light presentation, the brief dips back into a jazzed-out, Sprechgesang-laced black metal (“Onzichtbare Muur,” “Doodgeboren”)—reminiscent of the kind of organic chaos present in last year’s Ashenspire release—hit with an extra intensity.

Finding intensity consistently throughout Andermans Migne, though, often presents as a challenge, whether because of the similar riff construction through many songs or simple language barrier. The kind of repetitive refrains that build “Andermans Mijne,” “Achterstevoren,” and “Stegen Spiegel,” which come off as inspired by spacey krautrock ideas, can build a timeless waltz if you’re not paying careful attention—it’s a weird state of listening. And it doesn’t help that Laster has chosen to interject the experience with an interlude song literally named “Wachtmuziek” (“Wait Music”)—it’s even got the long doooot as if you’ve been put on hold!3 Further examination of song titles reveals an arc of modern human malaise—”Kunstlicht” (“Artificial Light”) to “Wachtmuziek” to “Achterstevoren” (“Backwards”) to “Vorm Alleen” (“Lone Form”) to “Onzichtbare Muur” (“Invisible Wall”) to “Doodgeboren” (“Stillborn”)4—this progression definitely has meaning. And nods to a placated and frustrated humanity present in clips of what sounds like bong bubbling, heavy breathing, strained coughing, anxious wails—perhaps a deeper understanding of the lyrics would lead to a greater engrossment in this all too real struggle.

Whatever the case, Laster remains determined to try and find happiness amongst it all. The penultimate, built-for disco “Afgelopen Tijd” is evidence enough to suggest that if you stand up, clap your hands, and shake your booty in the face of depression, it might go away if only for those four minutes. And sometimes, that temporary relief, that unexplainable escape that music provides prevails alone through rich textures, skipping rhythms, and whimsical vocal serenades. I certainly don’t understand the words that Andermans Mijne hurls at my earholes, and that does get in the way since a narrative clearly exists. But my twitching posterior, raised horns, and terribly toned howl aren’t missing anything.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Prophecy Productions | Bandcamp
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: October 13th, 2023

The post Laster – Andermans Mijne Review appeared first on Angry Metal Guy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous post Fact Check: Is LE SSERAFIM’s Yunjin Dating An American Basketball Player?
Next post The Unseen Setbacks BTS’s Jungkook Faced While Filming For “Good Morning America”

Goto Top