Belarus’ Anton Yeroma is the man behind Difleger, a post metal project that is self-described as drawing influence “from many different sources of inspiration”. This is vivid upon first listen of Black Whales; there is a lot going on here and while its attempts at crafting out an eclectic piece of work are admirable, it ends up becoming muddled and unfocused.
To Difleger’s credit though, there is no shortage of ideas on Black Whales. The primary influences are quite clear, first track ‘Crown of the Fallen’ has a strong whiff of Cult on Luna at their more sombre with hauntingly melodic guitars and morose crooned vocals. Of course, it eventually erupts into towering wave of atmospheric sludge that’s reminiscent of CoL’s Salvation.
After this initial onslaught, Difleger recoils into altogether different sonic realms. Vocals become less and less and Yeroma begins experimenting with many layers of dark ambient sounds as well as different string arrangements that really begin to manifest themselves on ‘Quaking Red Trees’; imagine Justin K. Broadrick’s electronic projects tinged with an even darker flair.
‘Frozen Grip’ sees the return of vocals, this time of a different tone and timbre with brooding drawls and whispers; all the while ‘Keep The Candle Burning’ exploits string arrangements to its fullest potential and begin to show that Yeroma may finally be onto something.
The album’s closing tracks show a much more tasteful layering and texturing of vocals and electronics with tribal-like drums and scant ambient guitars. ‘Keep The Candle Burning’ opens in tranquil terrain before bellowing vocals start emerging through a fog of atmospherics and the drums begin rolling out a ceremonial vibe complemented by layers of electronics that sound more like a film score than anything else, creating what is by far Black Whales’ standout moment.
Difleger seems like a project whose sole intent is to experiment with sounds and ideas. This is both to its benefit and detriment. The former in that Yeroma exercises a great deal of creative freedom and devil may care artistic attitude that is to be admired while the latter means that there isn’t a whole lot of quality control and focus, and Black Whales can become disarrayed from time to time.