(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the German band Beltez, which was released on October 30th by Avantgarde Music.)
What is it about the German Black Metal scene which makes it such a hive of activity and vitality?
Far from the cliched, mechanistic precision which so many still hold as their primary preconception of the country, in my experience it’s awash with bands as emotive and progressive as they are corrosive and aggressive, from the creative complexity of Bethlehem to the ever-evolving darkness of Ultha, from the introverted intensity and extroverted extremity of Infestus and Imha Tarikat to the keening catharsis of Der Weg Einer Freiheit and the gloomy grimness of Farsot… and beyond.
With their last album, 2017’s Exiled, Punished… Rejected, Cologne quintet Beltez took their listeners on an emotional roller-coaster of pitch-black fury and white-hot anguish, which firmly put their name on the map.
But, as good as that record was, A Grey Chill and a Whisper is another beast entirely, one which finds the band expanding their creative vision, adding new shades to their emotional palette and new shapes to their mental architecture, and stretching their skills and their songwriting like never before.