The members of Hæster have already earned their stripes in bands like Aborted, Nemea, Dedicted, Customs, Death Before Disco and Horses on Fire, plus they have invited some nice guests too: Brennt Vanneste (Steak Number Eight), Stefanie Mannaerts (Brutus) and Sven De Caluwé (Aborted).
No time for intros, Hæster is here to destroy, demolish and pulverize. Opener 'Ironmongers' does that immediately, with brutal riffs, shattering drums and hellish screams. There is also little time for calm, soothing passages as the whole thing seems to go on with an unseen intensity. Halfway through 'Ghost In Us' I need a little break, a time-out from all this nerve-wrenching aggression. By now I'm sure that this is one of the most brutal releases on the otherwise so nice and friendly Dunk! label. The Zottegem-crew has released a murderer.
I think it's around this time that I have decided that it's just not my cup of tea. But that is not Hæster's fault. I'm just not that much of a fan of these fierce hardcore inspired vocals. On the other hand, fans of post metal and sludge doom will absolutely eat this up, I'm 100% convinced of that. All the elements for decent post metal are present, and they all come in the same convincing level of quality as other Belgian bands like the aforementioned Amenra, or Oathbreaker, or Steak Number Eight, or Hemelbestormer, or All We Expected.
Plus, here and there, Hæster does provide the listener with a little breathing space, like the beautiful instrumental passages in 'So That We Could Live' and 'Graves'. That I can fully appreciate. The disturbing vocal samples also add a lot to the dark and ominous atmosphere of the whole thing. If you want a record that beats you down in a slow and tormenting manner, this surely is your thing. Even though I'm not a fan, Hæster delivered a stunner, one that will undoubtedly set them on their way to Belgian post-metal stardom and hopefully far beyond.