Last Saturday I visited the release show of Vaal at Astrant in Ede. The played a relative short yet compelling show. And with members of Cultus and ex-Countess in its live line-up you know that there are some good musicians on the stage.
I really enjoyed myself during this night. Together with comrades from Bezwering, Vaal managed
to present a black fueled evening. It also made me very curious what their album “Visioenen van het verborgen land” was all about. So let’s explore in a review, shall we?
Vaal creates black metal with references hailing from the second wave of Black Metal, mid-nineties. When you have read some reviews which I have concocted you may know that I really like this style and era of music. Vaal manages to create primitive yet compelling Black Metal. Once again the keyboard makes sure that the atmosphere is gloomy, eerie and haunting.
The music isn’t always aggressive but makes it up in atmosphere.
The album starts with the intro “Een nachtelijk ontwaken” which is a keyboard intro but with the song “Verloren in een vreemde droom” we are treated upon a fast, haunting and atmospheric track which mesmerizes from beginning till the end.
Follow up “Doudesheimen” is a mid-tempo track with great keyboards. It sometimes reminds me of the first albums of Satyricon.
“Zielentocht” can be regarded as an instrumental interlude while the haunting ambient in the beginning of “Schimmerwoud” is really cool, dark yet soothing.
“Stemmen in de mist” is yet another great atmospheric slow paced track while the title track “Visioen van het verborgen land” is in the same vain as “Stemmen in de mist”.
The outro “De laatste schemering” is a fitting end to it all.
“Visioen van het verborgen land” might not be a very unique album but what Vaal creates is certainly great fun to listen. Especially the atmosphere is really compelling. I am just a big fanboy of well dosed keyboard, mid-nineties style. And Vaal manages to pull it off with a mesmerizing and compelling record. Combine it with Dutch lyrics et voila we have quality record from yet another splendid Dutch Black Metal act. If you are into this kind of music I would definitely recommend giving it a spin or push play on Bandcamp. You won’t be disappointed.
Score: 7,9 / 10
Label: New Era Productions
Review made by: Erik
1. Een nachtelijk ontwaken
2. Verloren in een vreemde droom
6. Stemmen in de mist
7. Visioen van het verborgen land
8. De laatste schemering