Now You Know: Fluisteraars

Monday, 10th March 2014

Formation: 2009
Location: Netherlands
Style: A combination of raw and forest-y black metal
Personnel: Asher de Vries (bass); Mink Koops (drums, guitar); Bob Mollema (vocals)
Latest Release: Dromers (Eisenwald)

Some bands truly do seem to represent the music that they play. Fluisteraars’ recently released debut, Dromers, is an album with appeal to the raw black metal crowd as well as explores of the more “earthy” and wilderness-driven black metal. Instead of traditionally coming up with the most evil band name they could think of, “We went out for a long walk with a friend of ours and we were struggling for a band name that would fit our music, so our friend asked us: “Can you tell me what your music is about and what its purpose is?” We told him we would like to whisper old stories about the area we live in, through our music. He then replied: “Whisperers of the past” which we found way too long for a name. Since we were the ones telling the story he said: “Will Whisperers fit?” And it would. Fluisteraars was created,” states bassist Asher de Vries.

A black metal band not afraid to get in touch with their emotions, they built Fluisteraars with the influences of “Burzum, Horseback, Sleep, Can, Beastcraft, Summoning – Lugburz (NOT the other albums). But actually, it’s more like a drive to convert thoughts, visions and dreams into art and sound. With Dromers we tried to create an as fair as possible image about our emotions at that time.” Speaking of emotions, the haunting cover of Dromers is one not to leave your mind quickly. The dark image of a man, de Vries notes, “He pictures the sleeping motion that captures our dreams. Through him we empty our minds.”

With shady beginnings, the end almost came far too close for the band, who released two demos before this year’s debut album. “When we finished Beringheim we actually quit Fluisteraars. Due to false information on the Internet, we received a message from a French guy who wanted to buy Beringheim, which was not even released. We told him about our status and he offered to release it on cassette through his label. We agreed and continued with Fluisteraars. As a sign of thankfulness we kept releasing our records on cassette through Cold Void Emmanations.”

At 35 minutes, Dromers features only three tracks. To pull off songs of this length isn’t easy, and many bands fall flat when attempting such adventurous endeavors, but as they say, the devil is in the details. de Vries paints an eloquent picture, “Let’s put it like this: What’s challenging about watching a landscape for 10 minutes? Basically one assumes it’s just a landscape but when you look carefully more detail will be revealed. You then focus on the newly discovered things, which will lead to more new details. Eventually the landscape trapped you without you having noticed it. The smallest variations then become huge and intense. The challenging part is creating such a landscape.”

One of the band’s biggest strengths on the design of the landscape that is Dromers is their ability to craft almost hypnotic riffs into their tracks. But how do you determine that enough is enough? There is a fine line between a droning riff that keeps attention and one that loses focus over time. Continuing with his analogy, de Vries describes it succinctly. “Once you have ventured into the very detail of the landscape, there is nothing more to discover. That’s the point where we decide to move on. Another thing is that sometimes, we don’t let ourselves venture into the very detail on purpose. Even when the landscape (our music) demands it. Not revealing all the secrets maintains the mysteriousness of the songs.”

In line with keeping some of the mystery in the songs, closing track “Wortels Van Angst” feels a bit more abrasive than the other two tracks on the disc. de Vrie states, “Two reasons. The first one is to create diversity throughout the album. The second one is to end the album.” No argument there, most would agree that it’s better to go out with a bang, rather than a whimper.

With Dromers now released to the public and world to hear, things appear to be looking up for the Dutch band. de Vrie mentions that Dromers has been received “Very well. With Dromers we made a big step abroad and it’s good to see that people from outside the Netherlands like our music. Some people liked the demos over Dromers though. Frankly, we were astonished about Dromers ourselves when we finished the recordings and compared it with our demos.” So what’s next for the young band? “Making another album that stands even closer to us.”

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