Alburnum dream different era for black metal on captivating debut mind-melter ‘Buitenlucht’

I like hearing people take a different avenue when creating something that’s already abundant. If we didn’t have fresh thoughts and fucking weird bends in the road, all art forms would be increasingly more boring because no one would be taking chances and discovering new sparks. Heavy metal would not be where it was today if it didn’t have creators looking for different ways to do things and create darkness.

Dutch black metal duo Alburnum falls into that group of musicians that took a style and decided to shape it to their will, which they show on their dynamic debut “Buitenlucht.” The project initially started as a solo venture for D.B. (lead vocals, guitar, bass, accordion, mandolin) before it developed into the venture it is today when he joined up with R.v.R. (drums, backing vocals) of Faceless Entity, Seer’s Fire, Melancholie and about 100 other bands. At its base, the band creates black metal, but they add flourishes of European folk music and other seasonings in a way no one else quite has. It makes these four songs such a surprise to hear first time around, and they just get more elaborate and interesting on subsequent visits when you can explore every crevice.  

Opener “Ik Kan Niet Zien” runs a generous 7:19 and absolutely blazes, bursting with melody and frantic energy. Howls wrench as the cries bound from the walls, spiraling and crashing before elegant accordion notes fill your lungs. European-style playing bursts and gives off an exciting vibe, and the playing continues to push forward, sweeping and surging, blistering through time, and finally landing in a pile of its own ash. “Eeuwig Licht” churns and blazes, blaring and melting into acoustics that prepare you for the next cascade. Harsh howls and clean calls battle for control while folkish riffs work their magic, and everything rushes into lapping guitars and unmistakable energy. Melodies blow through as harsh cries strike, and everything disappears into the night.

“Buitenlucht” rings out in the air before the riffs begin to char, and then the playing detonates. Vocals leave abrasions as the playing takes off, collecting and increasing the massacre, though with a bit of delicacy amid some cleaner vocals. Guitars wash through as the ground rumbles, shrieks scathe, and moody wordless calls thrive as the playing bleeds away. Closer “Fluisterend Water” is the longest track at 8:40 and bustles out of the gates, and then the playing tidal waves, threatening your security and flooding the land. Riffs encircle as a steady pace continues to add pressure, and the infection picks up, crashing and bleeding, ending in a breeze combining acoustics, accordion, and mystery.

Alburnum have created a really interesting record with “Buitenlucht,” preferring to add their own flourishes and unexpected textures to black metal. Also, eschewing convention and turning inward was a rewarding choice, and it really helps add interesting shadows to this entire record. This is a band that doesn’t have a lot of content quite yet, but with this first full-length, they hold promise that what they create in the future should turn a lot of heads.

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