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ETERNAL TERROR REVIEW: HULDER - Godslastering Hymns Of A Forlorn Peasantry

Written by Eddie Rattlehead

While I'm quite used to one-man male projects, even of black metal variety, I wasn't aware of any female equivalents besides, of course, Amalie "Myrkur" Bruun, until, this, here, Hulder who is a fascinating young Oregonian by the name of Marz Riesterer. On her debut full length Lady Hulder presents herself as a Carl Jungian archetype, equally light and dark with both polarities equally strong, making for very good dark medieval black metal as she calls her music on her official website, despite the 8 track record suffering from inconsistency of purpose and overindulgence in the atmospherics which sometimes overstays its welcome.

For someone who spent the last 3 years trying to pitch 3 demos: "Ascending The Raven Stone" (2018), Rehearsal 8/13/18" (2018) and "Promo 2020" as well as an EP, "Embraced By Darkness Mysts" (2019) until finally able to release her debut full length on Iron Bonehead Productions, Hulder has been very patient and focused and most of it shows on the record. We have a perfect blend of MORBID ANGELic technical might and DIMMU BORGIRian light and dark play on "A Forlorn Peasant's Hymn", with a beautiful surprisingly clean aria in atmospherics recalling CLANNAD and THE CURE's "Kyoto Song", clearly in German but sung very delicately as if to tone down the language's inherent harshness, suddenly faster more aggressive back to rasps/whispers and black metal whereby you can taste the anger on your own tongue, the rasps so accusative, honestly, one of the finest black metal songs I have ever heard. "Sown In Barren Soil" is almost as good, although more varied, more melodic and more Dimmu Borgir-ian in that "Stormblåst" fashion and brilliantly seamlessly connected to the creepy ballad "De Dijle". A less melodic but guitar ferocious is "Lowland Famine", but the remaining tracks seem rather safe in their convention although certainly very good except "Purgations Of Bodily Corruptions" with not much variation or aggression, easily the least interesting cut.

For all the accolades we should heap on this album, excellent execution, mostly brilliant sense of songwriting pacing and parsing of the seemingly ill-fitting elements, excellent production and the fact that Hulder handled everything herself except for drums which she left in the capable session hands of a nephew of Melvin's guitarist/vocalist Roger "Buzz" "King Buzzo" Osborne, Samuel Osborne, it shows the typical problems of debuts: flashes of brilliance against weaker seemingly uninspired moments, inconsistency of creativity and arrangments but Hulder shows a great promise of an up and coming major player on the scene. Doubtful? Just listen to "A Forlorn Peasant's Hymn".

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