It is not strange that hadn’t heard of Ande before, because it seems to be a new project by Jimmy Christiaens, from the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium (Flanders, somewhere…). With Light (which actually lasts for twenty two minutes), Ande bring three Black Metal tracks, accompanied by four very short untitled instrumental pieces (though, not totally untitled, for they are called I, II, III and, indeed, IV).
Licht starts with I, a somewhat cosmic-ambient soundscape, soon followed by Paniek (‘panic’), which is an utterly grim and mesmerizing piece. The track is slow, melodic, repetitive and quite epic, with a specific Post-oriented sound and a very obscure atmosphere. Hypnotic leads and a colossal rhythm section, including slowly pounding guitar riffs and drum patterns (though I’m not sure whether it’s a drum computer used right here), are accompanied by abyssal growls. II is another dark-spherical interlude within the Dark Ambient-vein, followed by Beelden (‘images’). In contradiction to the opening song, this one is not slow-paced at all; on the contrary. Beelden is initially a fast and hammering composition with, once again, a certain repetitive structure and a suffocative Post-Black alike atmosphere. Quite some excerpts are ultimately slow once again, and do breathe the essence of old styled majesty. But a surplus for sure is that the track lacks of synth passages, but the eventual sound is as dense and suppressive that it might have been mooded by an atmospheric keyboard addition. III is more ‘floating’ than I and II, and acts as a perfect introduction to Den (pine), another example of the supreme craftsmanship of this young act. It starts mid-tempo, with less repetitive structures and melodies, yet rather with inclusion of so-called Blackgaze riffing and some subtle Post-Black dissonance. The raspy vocals come with an echoing flair, which empowers the grim and arctic atmosphere that carries the aural creation. Just monumental is the slowed-down passage after about half of the song, like a blistering riff-monster slowly yet unstoppably droning forward. IV, finally, sweetly closes this sonic experience in a way that combines desolation and dream.
Licht turns out to be a very promising start for Ande. There might be some infantile points of remark (like a better mix), but I won’t go to deep into that matter. Fact is that I think that, with the assistance of a professional label and a well-equipped studio, we will hear from this project soon. As for now my eardrums have come very close to utter satisfaction. I see a
bright blackened future… Zeg dat Ivan het gezegd heeft…