Review 2078 : Hulder – Verses in Oath – English

Hulder lives again.

After a debut album in 2022, the project of Belgian-born but U.S.-based musician Hulder (vocals/guitar/keyboards, Bleeder) unveils Verses in Oath, her second album, on 20 Buck Spin.

She is accompanied here by Necreon (bass, Funebrarum, Trepanation, ex-Undergang) and CK (drums, Chthonic Deity, Funebrarum, Ascended Dead, ex-VoidCeremony, live for Incantation, Morbid Angel…).

The album opens with the icy wind of An Elegy, which finally opens the doors to Boughs Ablaze, where majestic saturated riffs are already raging. Raw vocal parts lend a darker touch to this heady sound, at times haunted by throbbing spikes and towering keyboards, which we contemplate like a misty landscape that finally surrenders to silence before Hearken The End takes its place, developing much heavier tones. The haunting riffs and choruses finally ignite to become more aggressive, creating an intoxicating contrast with the quieter elements, before returning to the fury on Verses In Oath, giving the keyboards a more ominous role that fits perfectly with the rage deployed by the other elements. Lamentation gives us another moment to catch our breath, while the strange, jerky lament leads into An Offering and its gentle melody, which slowly intensifies and takes us through to the new-found darkness of Cast Into The Well Of Remembrance. Old School and airy roots naturally blend, influencing each other to create intense, hypnotic waves before Vessel Of Suffering crushes us with a martial approach, sometimes softened a little by soaring touches. The composition remains fairly short, as does Enchanted Steel, the following track, which also adopts the imposing approach to develop its own darkness both via the instrumental and the cavernous howls, then it’s thanks to Veil Of Penitence that the band sweeps us away one last time in its fascinating tornado fueled by waves of devastating riffs.

Hulder‘s blend is undeniably catchy. The majestic keyboards reinforce the dark riffs and deep howls in Verses in Oath, giving the album a hazy but impressive touch that settles into your mind.


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