WALDMARK – Alastor
Alastor is the third full length release from Austrian black metallers Waldmark. The band have been going since the late 90’s and their sound carries echoes of that era – it has a second wave vibe with elements of ‘depressive’ BM creeping in around the edges. Overall, this is quite a consistent effort. The songs all work well and sit together quite happily. While there is plenty of full throttle blasting, Alastor always manages to feel refined and accessible. Perhaps this is because of the melodic undercurrent, but it also owes a lot to intelligent song dynamics. The breakdowns and slower passages maintain mood and atmosphere well, while carrying the song along rhythmically.
Ultimately then, this is a strong record for those in the humour of some well put together BM that isn’t too black or brutal. Because this record sounds like it could have been recorded a decade and a half ago, it blindsides the listener into not immediately noticing how deep and intelligent the writing is. After that, it is too late – Waldmark have drawn you in and Alastor begins to bloom.