Folteraar’s Vertellingen van een donkere eeuw: a Review

Folteraar’s Vertellingen van een donkere eeuw (Tales of a Dark Age) may prove overwhelming for the uninitiated, but those who comprehend its language will find it richly rewarding.

It’s fitting that my introduction to this band would be indulgently playing a promo for their debut album, from the indestructible Iron Bonehead Productions. If last year was any indication, two man black metal bands are in. Folteraar proudly carry the torch passed to them from Mgla, even though Vertellingen van een donkere eeuw is a much different style of black metal than Exercises in Futility.

“De mars der ondoden” (“The March of Undead”), the second track from Vertellingen van een donkere eeuw

Folteraar | Vertellingen van een donkere eeuw | Iron Bonehead Productions | February 26th, 2015

Folteraar | Vertellingen van een donkere eeuw | Iron Bonehead Productions | February 26th, 2015

 

Invisible Oranges recently debuted “Mijn verlossing” (“My Salvation”), and IO scribe Jon Rosenthal pointed out the song’s hardcore trappings buried beneath it’s oppressive atmosphere. The prolific body of work behind each musician becomes readily apparent when the album is taken in its entirety, as B. and K. have appeared in dozens of other bands! Vertellingen‘s black metal framework is bent, stretched, and shaped over the album’s twelve songs. Tremolo chords are set ablaze and buried under their own ash. Vocals are often shouted rather than shrieked. Tempos fluctuate between songs and during them, lending this album uncertainty and unpredictability as it rages forward. Vertellingen is just as menacing when it slows things to a crawl, however, on “Waan” (“Delusion”), “De vormloze chaos” (“The Formless Chaos”), and “Onzuiver” (“Impure”). These songs call to mind many of Akitsa’s slower songs, or thicker versions of Nocternity’s Harps of the Ancient Temples. Before the halfway point, by the aforementioned “Mijn verlossing”, everything goes to hell.

“Waan” (“Delusion”), the fourth track from Vertellingen van een donkere eeuw

The album’s second half is a grave endeavor. The last six tracks form an unending miasma of violent competition between the instrumentation and Vertellingen’s katamorphic atmosphere. “Onzuiver” becomes as horrifying as it is massive-sounding, reaching a sound not too far removed from the cavernous and sepulchral death metal movement of late.

Because this debut LP comes from a group with myriad releases under their belt, Folteraar’s members show their compatibility by running through a myriad of styles during Vertellingen van een donkere eeuw. The band plays black metal with hardcore trappings, black metal filtered through psychedelics, and cavernous blackened death metal for maximum bewilderment. Nothing here sounds out of place, however. Vertellingen is seamless and cohesive during its reign. Vertellingen pays homage to the spirit of the second wave masters with a captivating style entirely its own. This album sounds like it was tailor-made for Iron Bonehead Productions, and it is one of the finest black metal albums you’ll hear in 2016.

4 1/2 out of 5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

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Vertellingen van een donkere eeuw is due out February 26th on Iron Bonehead Productions.

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Published on: February 9, 2016

Filled Under: Metal, Reviews

Views: 995

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  • Dug what I heard from them a while back. Filthy and noisy mid-paced black metal is always welcomed in my void. I don’t remember being to blown away though. Will listen again here.

    Also, Akitsa has to be the most overrated black metal band in the underground right now. I just can’t get in with the Akitsa hype. Maybe I’m missing something.

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Never heard of Akitsa.

      • They had an album out last year that got a bunch of hype. I tried it and it really didn’t do much for me.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1zkkL1983Q

        • Sir Tapir The Based

          I liekd it.

          • That does not surprise me in the least.

        • Dagon

          I didn’t like this album. Found out about Akitsa in one of Ed’s older posts, but to me Ash Borer >> Akitsa

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      You might talk with a lot more people or a wider variety of people than me, but I never found Akitsa to be a frequent topic of discussion.

      • Yup, discussion forums and what not. Akitsa was a big talked about album from last year.

        • RJA

          Yea, I remember it being hyped a bit – of course that’s in our fairly small circles.

          • I mean I did say “In the Underground”.

          • RJA

            Oh I agree – hyped is a completely relative term. I would say I agree with you though that it was a pretty hyped release – almost added it to an order without having listened to it.

    • RJA

      Could not get into Akitsa myself – great review Edward.

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        Gracias, RJA.

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      I didn’t think that Akitsa was miraculous, but I did enjoy a playthrough or two, haven’t much ran into anybody talking ’bout it though.

      Beketh Nexehmu is ruling this butt now, thanks for that.

      • You are welcome. What release are you listening to if you don’t mind me asking?

        • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

          Rn it’s De Dunkla Herrerna, I’ve also played De Svarta Riterna a bit. Going to dig into the rest one by one.

          Gave a brief try to Хармония – Вечност – Вселена as well. Sounded really good, but I haven’t taken the time to sit with it properly yet.

          • De svarta riterna is my favorite by them. De Dunkla Herrerna is great, but De svarta riterna has more energy to it.

            Хармония – Вечност – Вселена is a beautiful album. Majestic and triumphant as fuck. Glad you gave it a shot.

  • Dubs

    Good review, Ed.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Thank you, W.

      • Boss the Turbid Ross

        I liked reading all of your descriptions, makes me look forward to checking this out.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Great revue Jed, not feeling these tracks the same though.

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Haven’t listened to the whole thing yet, but at first this feels like it crosses that thin black line between “murky, lo-fi & atmospheric” and “poorly recorded”

  • Speaking of Iron Bonehead production. I recently picked up their killer Ouroboros – Invoking the Past vinyl release. It contains four tracks from: Unreleased MLp & the whole Invoking the Worm Demo. Vicious band whose members went on to other greats like Weapon, Rites of Thy Degringolade, A.M.S.G., Gloria Diaboli, and Ritual Necromancy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrn5U8Q8vZo

    • RJA

      Have not listened to this. Will check out. Was listening to some Temple Desecration on Iron Bonehead the other day and it was pretty sick.

      • Ah, fuck yes dude! Communion Perished is a killer little release. Need more from those Polish maniacs.

        • RJA

          I don’t think I’ve listened to that one? will amend. I think the one I was listening to was Abhorrent Rites? It was honestly my first exposure to them.

          • Ha, well I need to check that demo out then. I have only heard their EP. Thanks!

  • FUCK, if i was in a band i’d want you to review our album @disqus_4E0xQtrX2p:disqus

    • Dubs
      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        How did I forget that today is Mardi Gras? Damnit, now I won’t be able to eat meat on Fridays.

    • Sir Tapir The Based

      I’d give your band a 0/5.

      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        I’d give it a 5/7

        • Sir Tapir The Based

          I was guessing you’d give it a 9/11

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Why would I do that?

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            JJD can melt steel beams.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            That’s what you think.

      • i’d give you a 69

        • Sir Tapir The Based

          That’s So McNulty,

        • Dagon

          dibs

    • Dagon

      I agree, and his layouts are always very good to look at

  • RJA

    Vertellingen van een donkere eeuw (Tales of a Dark Age) – Are you sure there isn’t something about donkeys in there?
    An album title like that with a black and white cover is a sure listen for me!

  • Capra Hircus Hubertus

    “Vertellingen van een donkere eeuw” translates to “Tales of a dark century” Edward. Other than that, amazing review. The music sounds great as well.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      No kidding? That’s the one translation I bit from the IO article! D’oh.

  • Sir Tapir The Based

    I should say I like this. And I shall. I like this.

  • Dick crushing blackened death from Germany .

    https://lihhamon.bandcamp.com/releases

    • Boss the Turbid Ross

      that was pretty crushing

  • Waynecro

    Great review, man. Thanks a bunch!