With a name that translates to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and album art depicting an eerie and uninviting marsh, one could assume that Wiegedood means business. With a scathing, twin guitar attack and pulverizing drum work at their disposal, this Belgian trio deliver some punishing and memorable black metal.
Coming roughly two years after the release of their well-received debut, De Doden Hebben Het Goed, the band present its storming successor, simply titled De Doden Hebben Het Goed II. In contrast to its predecessor’s more melancholic over tones, De Doden II showcases a faster, more dismal and more aggressive Wiegedood.
Much like the record that came before it, De Doden II is comprised of four tracks that collectively clock in at under forty-minutes in length. The record wastes no time ensnaring the listener in its jaws with the opening number, “Ontzielling”. This nearly eight-minute track churns out stampedes of tremolo-picked, malevolent melodies, crusty chord progressions, acidic vocals and a wealth of pummeling percussion to ensure the listener rightly obliterated. As it progresses, the song begins to cycle back in forth between darkened melodic fervor and jagged, flesh-ripping riffs, before ending with a section of clean guitars that bleeds into the following track.
The eleven-minute “Cataract”begins with 60 seconds of somber, shimmering clean guitars that pave the way for a towering, melancholic dirge. After roughly five minutes of suffocating sadness, the track explodes into a wall of hyper-speed, serpentine guitar riffs and concussive blast beats that continually assaults the listener’s senses until it fades into nothingness. The album’s title track follows next with a sprawling intro of atmospheric drones that are illuminated by Levy Seynaeve’s throat-searing screams. Eventually the drones open the doors for massive guitar chords and sinister guitar melodies to come marching in and repetitively hammer the listener until the track’s end.
The album’s ends with arguably its heaviest track, “Smeekbede”. The hellacious six-minute tune unleashes dreary chords that bleed into galloping, palm-muted mayhem, and further into spiraling black metal chaos. These onslaughts of cold and bitter instrumentation build into a dense, layered bridge of atmospheric riffs and knife-like leads, before descending back into unforgiving madness.
Stylistically, De Doden II is not a far cry from its predecessor. But the album’s increased emphasis on aggression and darkness compliments the previous effort’s more somber mood, making for a stellar sequel. These four tracks showcase some of Wiegedood’s greatest songwriting strengths and will definitely make them an act to continue to watch closely in the future.
Release Date: February 10, 2017
Label: Consouling Sounds
Favorite Tracks: “Cataract” and “Smeekbede”
For Fans Of: Panopticon, The Great Old Ones and Woe