De Doden Hebben Het Goed III by Wiegedood

Release date: April 20, 2018
Label: Century Media Records

Grief can be angry. It can be sad and it can be irritating. But once there is a modicum of closure then it can also be life-affirming. This album, a stark, bleak, squall of atmospheric black metal is the final one in a trilogy from Wiegedood, all dedicated to their friend Florent Pevée of the noise rock group Kabul Golf Club. And you imagine that this record, which is as good as if not better than the second instalment, provides some closure for those mourning Pevée’s passing, as well as four more songs of high-quality rage for us, the listeners.

Yes, it is harsh. Yes, it is angry. Angry and icy. But as enraged as some of the music from this band of two guitars and drums (no bass, as with the first two records) may be, it also carries just enough melody – not to mention the occasional hook – to provide an uplifting atmosphere.

It begins exactly how De Doden Hebben Het Goed II ended, with a blood-curdling, rasping scream. That introduces the opening song, ‘Prowl’, which is an aggressive, martial stomp with some heavier-than-heavy palm-muted guitar. There is some throat singing within the song – again, following a similar theme from the second part of the trilogy – as well as some satisfying squalls of unadulterated blackened blast beats.

 

‘Doodskalm’ follows with a thrashy aggression, which evaporates midway through the song to leave a lonely near-clean guitar which then expands into a widescreen post-metal landscape, which evokes some of the work from Oathbreaker and Amenra, with whome Wiegedood share some members.

True to the pattern of Wigedood’s two previous albums, the centrepiece is the title track. And this time it is a monster. It begins with a brooding clean riff, which is joined by a thudding double-kick bombast and a swirling assault of guitars. It is hypnotising. The racket pauses for a period mid-song, giving us time to take stock and reflect on what we have heard so far. It then goes into a far more orthodox black-metal phase, bashing our eardrums for three minutes before a long, long fade-out.

We’re back to aggressive palm-muted riffery for the closing track, ‘Parool’, which is so furious that it sounds as if there are at least two drumkits being pummelled to within an inch of their lives, as well as a wall of guitars. It is as if the band know that this is the final song of the trilogy – and ‘Parool’ represents the last song they will play, so they are putting every sinew into making it as fast, loud and intense as possible. Then with a single crash cymbal, it stops. And we are left knowing that it could be the last memory of Wiegedood.

But luckily we can play it again. And then go back to their previous two albums. In fact we can play all in sequence. I have done – it is gruelling and draining, but it is well worth it. And by the end of it, things seem to make sense. Hopefully things have begun to for the band as well.

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