Hulder lash back with scathing black metal assault on coarse EP ‘Embraced By Darkness Mysts’

We try to work about a week ahead with new music so when we write about it, you have time to consider it, buy it in advance, and help out the artists we feature here. This is a weird week. Next week’s release schedule is as weak as I can remember in some time, so this is a nice chance to visit with recent records that we didn’t get a chance to feature but are well worth your time and dollars.

Last year, I was turned onto Hulder, the one-person project helmed by the Inquisitor, and the “Ascending Raven Stone” demo. Her primitive, darkened form of black metal made me think of the mid-2000s when Xasthur, Striborg, and others were proving this style of music didn’t have to have heavy-handed production and bells and whistles to be utterly mortifying. We now have new Hulder music in our hands in the form of 7” release “Embraced By Darkness Mysts” that feels like a rampaging ghoul in the night, seeking your flesh and blood as it hunts in the dark. By the way, the physical version of this release? Totally sold out. Luckily, the music can be purchased now on Bandcamp, so it’s not like you’re without options. And this is so raw and embedded in chaos that it’ll be something with which you’ll want to spend lots of times investigating the ins and outs of the music.

“Unholy Divine” is the A side and begins with static-rich guitars, woodwinds calling gently, and birds chirping before the savage burst of black metal rips through your chest. Scathing growls and a thunderous pace are under way before you know it, and strange, eerie calls are situated behind the thrashing. A murky chorus adds to the mystery, while the Inquisitor unleashes raspy growls, the riffs circle back for one last gallop, and everything ends in punishment. “Interring the Light” is waiting for you on the other side as bells chime, the beast snarls, and riffs rise out of the madness. It feels like a late autumn chill has overtaken you as guitars rip from black metal’s old veins, the playing gets speedy as hell, and suddenly we’re rocketing toward a cliff, threatening existence as a whole. “Darkness consumes,” she wails as the animalistic growls get bloodier, the fires rage toward the skies, and everything floats off on a bed of chimes toward a final resting place.

Hulder remains a mystery to the metal world at large, though from the strength of “Embraced By Darkness Mysts” selling out of its initial run, more and more people have caught on. This is violent in nature, a mysterious slab of chaos, and just enough of a serving to keep your stomach pangs at bay. Hulder’s grip is just beginning to tighten, and once she has full command, good luck finding a god who will still have mercy on your filthy soul.

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