This album does two things in particular really fucking well; it utilizes unexpected and unconventional chords, and creates a wonderfully dark, depressing, and slow forming atmosphere. Not unlike Beethoven (did you ever think someone would use Beethoven as a comparison in an atmo black review?) Fluisteraars plugs in super strange chords into their progressions, which creates a sense of awe and mystery, while also keeping you interested in the long and drawn out tracks. The best example of this is one the first track “De Laaste Verademin”. The chord progression over the final section of the track reads as D major, Bb 7 (Bb, D, F, A), F #5 (F, A, C#), A major, then back to D major. It’s basically an extended I – V progression, but what’s filled in between is completely off the wall. Neither of those two chords in the middle have anything remotely to do with D major. And yet they sound great. They sound mysterious, unique, questioning. It’s amazing how adding just two chords can completely change the entire landscape of your piece, at least to me anyway. But I’m the music major, I’m supposed to jerk off to that kind of stuff. Even for someone who doesn’t study music I’m sure that you’ll understand what I’m talking about by listening to this, as these kinds of techniques transcend knowledge and go directly into your soul.
Soulful would be a great way to describe Luwte, in that it feels good to listen to. The slow, mind numbing progression of ideas is both extremely relaxing and a bit meditative. However it is also this albums biggest flaw. While I do get that this is supposed to be a very droney record, I feel like it feels a bit too repetitive at times. Ideas really tend to stay longer than they should, especially on the third track, the 15 minute long “Stille Wateran”. It feels like one idea lasts about 6 minutes, which is a bad thing no matter how comforting it is to listen to, or how good the idea is. I’d even call it boring to some extent. It’s one of those albums that you feel “done” with about 2/3rds of the way through.
However this does not take away from what is a hypnotizing and mesmeric record that ranks among one of the best of it’s subgenre this year. I feel like maybe I’m docking it too much for being slow, but I don’t quite feel comfortable giving it a higher rating. It’s still a great album. More people just need to give this a fair chance.