Laster - Het Wassen Oog review

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Band: Laster
Album: Het Wassen Oog
Release date: April 2019

01. Vacuüm ≠ Behoud
02. Schone Schijn
03. Zomersneeuw
04. Ondersteboven
05. Haat & bonhomie
06. Blind Staren
07. Weerworm
08. Zinsbetovering

The Dutch black metal scene has developed a fine reputation for the overall quirkiness and experimental inclinations of many of its bands as of late. Look no farther than Laster for as good a demonstration of this trend as any.

Laster have taken to labeling themselves as "obscure dance music," a descriptor that may seem rather silly at first for black metal, but that actually begins to make quite a bit of sense the more you listen to their material. On Het Wassen Oog, the third album out of this peculiar trio, the game isn't shaken up too hard from their previous efforts. A midtempo, rather catchy take on black metal dominates, with an emphasis on bounce and a very pronounced bass delivery to the point that it probably wouldn't be too far off to say that Laster are taking a lesson or two from the legendary Ved Buens Ende with their songwriting. The vocal dimension of the music, a duty shared by all three members of the band, is pleasantly diverse, alternating between black metal's traditional shrieks as well as both standalone and harmonized cleans.

What really makes Het Wassen Oog such an enjoyable listen is the fact that it straddles the line between orthodoxy and creativity so well. Realistically speaking, Laster aren't going too far off base from black metal with their compositions here, and the bulk of the album is still grounded in that bouncy, midpaced black metal sound that one could likely compare to several other bands. The selling point comes in the fact that Laster really know when to drop their more unique elements into the songwriting in a way that comes off as impressive but not completely overbearing, such as that little decrescendo that transitions into more of a drum and bass only approach on "Vacuum Behoud," or the funky final minutes of "Haat & Bonhomie," which certainly justify Laster referring to their jamz as "obscure dance music."

In a Dutch black metal community that has been receiving attention for becoming increasingly unusual in recent years, Laster stand as one of its most formidable members. Het Wassen Oog only continues to demonstrate that these musicians have a particular talent for making their brand of black metal highly distinct and memorable while also still keeping it recognizable by not wandering too far from the general confines of the genre. Catchy, well written, and just all around fun, Het Wassen Oog is easily one of the most intriguing albums to be released thus far in 2019, and I suspect it'll be topping many year end lists for fans of the more left field side of black metal.

Go get your obscure dance on.


Written on 18.04.2019 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments: 4   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 62 users
18.04.2019 - 16:52
Ironic that you write this review, yet you're the one who hasn't seen their Roadburn performance
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
18.04.2019 - 16:55
Written by RaduP on 18.04.2019 at 16:52

Ironic that you write this review, yet you're the one who hasn't seen their Roadburn performance

Well it's not the performance I'm reviewing, it's the album so....... moot point, kiddo

On the real though, I feel as though I may regret not having seen them the more I listen to this album. I'd reckon it was a real treat and some of the pics I saw of them that Rod took looked pretty hawt. I'd like to think Morne weren't too bad a trade off for them though.
Life was a commercial for itself, endlessly replayed. Nothing changed, it just spread out farther and farther in the form of neon ooze.
18.04.2019 - 16:59
Written by Apothecary on 18.04.2019 at 16:55

I'd like to think Morne weren't too bad a trade off for them though.

I remember going through the skatepark waiting for some other band to start and with time to spare and seeing a band get ready to perform, but I didn't have any wifi to check who they were, so I just left.

Turns out they were Morne and I'm a fucking idiot.
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
19.04.2019 - 21:52
Mr. Doctor
I danced during the entire set. They are actually even more catchy and dance-friendly live. I only heard one song that came out a few months ago so I'm definitely looking forward to this one. Great review, as usual! Like you said, Laster have a pretty great balance of orthodox and forward-thinking approach. Sometimes you can't truly pinpoint what it is that makes them sound unusual.. You just feel it!
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.

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