In a short space of time, Belgian Black Metallers Wiegedood have proven to be somewhat of a special entity, and a name that has begun to creep into a wider audience (not to mention a name that your scribe has found difficult to remember how to spell for about the same length of time). Featuring members of, and having association with, the likes of Amenra and Oathbreaker, their brand of Black Metal similarly revels in moody tropes and being both explorative and emotive. It is interesting, then, that latest album and the final part of their trio of releases, De Doden Hebben Het Goed III (Century Media) follows suit fairly firmly, but does up the ante in places.
Album opener ‘Prowl’ leaves no room for hesitation as it charges out of the gates at full throttle and barely lets up its furious pace across its seven-minute duration. The following ‘Doodskalm’ returns to the band’s habit of veering between the striding and the ethereal, but it harbours a great intensity for much of the first half which in turn makes the slower passage a greater respite; a trick the title track also pulls off. Closing track, ‘Parool’, bookends the two longer and experimental songs with another snappier and blistering emission which, again, doesn’t let up in speed, and finishes the album in a chaotic frenzy.
They may have only three albums to their name at this stage, but with releases in quick succession, Wiegedood have shown improvement upon every single release so far and, with number three, having cemented their place as one of contemporary extreme metal’s most recognisable names. Whereas II (Consouling Sounds) had plenty of ferocity alongside a major focus on atmosphere, III feels distinctly more impactful and primal, with a greater sense of contrast, and is all the more bleaker as a result. They may not offer too much in the way of innovation but have still ushered enough of a niche in terms of execution to stand out, and enough of a balance between more straightforward Black Metal and a probing edge to satisfy many.