AndeAnde is actually a chap called Jim from Belgium. He used to be in a garage rock band called Whocares but obviously not enough people did as it appears they played their last gig at the end of 2014. After a break he started anew, going it alone and taking an about turn with a solo black metal project. Licht is his debut release and has three main songs with 5 bridging pieces of ambient music.

Starting off with the ambience, well there is a modicum of atmosphere about them and there is even a bit of atmosphere that reminded a little of work by ex Nokturnal Mortum musician Munruthel. However they are mere glimpses of what could be achieved all running at under a minute in length. Indeed the first barely starts before suddenly fading out at a mere 36 seconds making you wonder whet its purpose actually was. As a start of a disc it is perfunctory and too inconsequential to get any intention and things need to be expanded to have any merit at all. Perhaps it would even have been better to dispense with them entirely and just focus on the main tracks. This was certainly not a good way of getting any attention at the start of a disc and as it runs for just 22 minutes anyway acts as a real case of padding things out.

As for the main tracks such as first ‘Paniek,’ they display a certain amount of clumsiness and illustrate severe limitations from going it alone. With the drum machine and thick riff melody at first I thought I had stumbled upon a very early Sisters Of Mercy demo although that notion quickly changes as the feral vocal rasps join in. It’s slow to mid-paced and has a plodding demeanour which again fails to really embrace the cold and dark atmosphere it so desperately needs. In all this has the feel of an old demo which needs work on to add to the textures on display. Presentation and sound wise there is not a problem here but musically it just doesn’t strike as professional enough. ‘Beelden’ ups things speed wise and clatters out the tracks in an uncouth fashion, stumbling over itself in the process. This displays a rawer side to Ande before settling into a groove and repeating, a-mid section slower pace has some gothic sounding shades, which are interesting and show promise with the melody fairly strong before the drums thud in again and it tears off as it started. Unlike the ambient stuff though it’s just a bit too drawn out and interest is lost in the repetitive nature. Final main track ‘Den’ is rather dense and muddy in the sound-stakes, guitar too loud and vocals too low, with the drums just losing vibrancy and dully thudding. Melody lingers and again is promising and a solo spiralling riff is pretty neat but on the whole this just doesn’t lift things and do it for me, which is a shame as despite the seemingly endless criticisms I really wanted to like the overall CD more.

Still it’s clearly early days and with time and thought Ande can certainly develop on what has been laid down here. You can have a listen for yourself on the Bandcamp page below.

(5/10 Pete Woods)