After more than four long years, the enigmatic black metal act Fluisteraars return with their third full-length record, “Bloem”. This new chapter in the ever-expanding output of perhaps one of the most creative acts in the Dutch scene is set for release on February 28, 2020. The band recorded the follow up to 2015’s “Luwte” in E-Sound Studios, under the recording auspices of T. Cochrane, who contributed significant brass instrument flourishes on the record as well. From the first feedback-laden chord struck at the beginning of opener “Tere Muur”, one is immediately taken into the familiar Fluisteraars tonal register that has marked most of their output since the previous full-length album. However this familiarity is skillfully deconstructed throughout the following tracks, moving between ripping blast beats and greater vistas of lush melancholy. Again, the versatile performances of B. Mollema (vocals) effectively narrate the unmistakable songwriting of main instrumentalist M. Koops (guitars, bass, drums, piano). Thematically, “Bloem” conjures old and reimagined folktales and legends in which flowers act as both symbols for birth and regeneration as well as crippling decay. The flower can be imagined as both an object of beauty in itself as well as a single glistening star in a whole night-sky of blossoming spring. The romantic naturalism on display within these five songs attest to a band wholly enamored with the forests and fields of the Gueldrian Veluwe; fully committed to capturing its seasonal shift like the romantic Oosterbeek painters before them. From the beginning, Fluisteraars has been known to experiment with influences of psychedelic folk. On ‘Bloem’, this input is lifted into a realm of psyched-out rural black metal mysticism. In parts reminding the listener of old psychedelic rock by the likes The Electric Prunes, the minimal but extremely effective orchestration in some parts even touches on a production style reminiscent of Lee Hazlewood. However, what Fluisteraars offer here are not the very long and drawn-out compositions by which they are perhaps more well known, but captivating and moving songs, nowhere crossing the eight-minute mark.