Laster are from Utrecht, Netherlands formed officially in 2012 by S., N., and W. (all instruments and vocals). They have released two full-length albums and they label their music as “obscure dance music”. This description couldn’t be more accurate about Laster’s music.

As anyone might guess from the album’s title, Laster are using the Dutch language and they deal lyrically with the individual and its daily and inner struggles. But don’t worry if you don’t speak Dutch. The band creates this kind of atmosphere, that all the images come alive to the listener. ‘Ons Vrije Fatum‘ is one of those albums that confirms the existence of talent and creativity when one might think that most releases today are a reproduction of what has already been played. In this album Laster incorporate shoegaze, post-punk, gothic, sometimes psychedelic elements, and all these onto the base of primal black metal. And that’s why the label “obscure dance music” is so accurate. There are moments that you feel you want to dance, or better move like you are in a ceremony about darkness. And then there are moments when a depressive but yet balletic and airy mode makes you stand still. The guitars sound like they are created from chaos and the vocals, although initially  sound clearly black, they vary depending on the escalation of agony or the from time to time gothic atmosphere.

Highlights of the album include the tracks ‘Bitterzoet‘ and ‘Helemaal Naar Huis‘. The first is the perfect marriage between black metal and shoegaze. It has its rhythm until it slows down like the end of a ritual. The second, which is the longest track (11 minutes and 8 seconds), contains all the musical elements Laster incorporate, and as this isn’t enough there is also a saxophone part. This part comes in the middle of the track creating a jazzy yet noir feeling and only from listening to it one can understand how successful this addition is.

Ons Vrije Fatum‘ is one of the first releases of 2017 and comes from a band which seems very promising. Solid in its chaotic state, this album, as the band quotes, is here “To melt the ice and guzzle the saps of fate. Come dance in the mirror of a timeless state”.

Mary Kalaitzidou