A Grey Chill and a Whisper


"A Grey Chill and a Whisper" is an expanded vision of contemporary black metal by […]
October 23, 2020
Beltez - A Grey Chill and a Whisper album cover

"A Grey Chill and a Whisper" is an expanded vision of contemporary black metal by the German band BELTEZ. The album is based on an original short story, Black Banners, written exclusively for the band by German writer Ulrike Serowy (Skogtatt). The album contains eight tracks. "In Apathy and in Slumber" leads off the album. It's a short mood-setting instrumental, with dark and nefarious tones. "The City Lies in Utter Silence" is a ten-minute beast, with a full wall of sound, and harrowing guitar tones. The vocals are vile shrieks of hatred. Close to the half-way mark, it slows to just vocal chanting and light bass/guitar work. It picks back up with a renewed hatred.

"Black Banners" has a slower groove, allowing the evil sound to soak into your bones over the course of the track. "A Taste of Utter Distinction" is another long track, at close to ten-minutes in length. Following a slow opening, the sound opens up, with thick guitars and utterly raging vocals. The drums roll forward like a speedy locomotive going off the tracks. It takes another pause around the half-way mark, but those guitars keep things in a desolate realm. "The Unwedded Widow" opens with clean guitars and some nice, thick bass notes. The drums are light, but there is this feeling that something is brewing. Following a brief opening sequence, the harrowing sounds come right at you. The continued use of the clean guitars with distorted ones allows the sound to be more well-rounded.

"From Sorrow into Darkness" is a short, under-two-minute track, featuring some solemn guitar tones, and a few bass notes here and there. "A Grey Chill and a Whisper" is another lengthy song with another wall of sound. There is some diversity present on the album, but the genre boundaries can be rather unforgiving. There is a slight change-up after the half-way mark, but it stays as scary as can be. "I May be Damned but at Least I Found You" is a 14-minute beast. Opening with slow, but tense tones...the hairs stand up on your back. It builds slowly, with more instrumentation, and a bit of a melody line. The vocals come in...low at first, then the full sound is unleashed. It is desolate and raging at the same time.

"We Remember what we Remember" opens with some softer, darker tones. The vocals are clean at first, as the sound develops. It begins to die however and never reaches the full level of hatred as other tracks. I really like this as the closing track to the album. BELTEZ has been at their craft for many years, most recently more active. They constructed an excellent album here which is carefully considered songwriting, with just enough of the full sound, but not overdone. There are also a number of more ambient songs and passages which help to break up some of the intensity. This album will stick with you for some time.

8 / 10









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"A Grey Chill and a Whisper" Track-listing:

1. In Apathy and in Slumber
2. The City Lies in Utter Silence
3. Black Banners
4. A Taste of Utter Extinction
5. The Unwedded Widow
6. From Sorrow into Darkness
7. A Grey Chill and a Whisper
8. I May be Damned but at least I Found you
9. We Remember to Remember

Beltez Lineup:

C.U. - B ass
D.K. - Vocals, Guitars
J.K. - Vocals, Guitars
M.P. - Vocals
Sebastian - Drums

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