Wiegedood were ambitious straight out the gate in 2015, planning to release a trilogy of intense, black metal albums; A tribute to their friend who sadly died at the young age of 21. The band have done just brilliantly so far, releasing the first two albums to critical acclaim and creating buzz all around the metal world. Their ambition has served them very well indeed. This year, they release the final of the trilogy, which might well be their best.
The first notable fact about this third album is the revert in production. Gone is the more raw sound that the band chose for the previous release, and back comes the more professional touch that did so well for them on their debut. More professional sounding it may be, but opening track Prowl still blasts straight into our ears with the scratchy rasp of Levy Seynaeve in front of high pitched, crunching twin guitars and drums that sound as if they are prying themselves out of the dirt with every hit. The guitar’s rhythm here has a really strong thrash influence now too, providing a more bombastic and triumphant vibe to this bookend, giving an injection of Behemoth-like bravado inside their bleaker exterior.
Doodskalm continues on as Prowl started, but with a show of dramatics in its latter half. The track is given a repetitive and binding riff that tentatively rides the line between despair and rage. It's high pitches engulf you with a tension that builds and builds, almost suffocating you and it works wonderfully when it all comes to a sudden halt, ending abruptly, releasing it’s clutches and finally giving you a moment to release a breath.
Each Wiegedood album has it's title track, lengthier than the rest and containing a little more melodic melancholy. This time around, there is a gorgeous melody, beginning alone with only little reverb to hear otherwise. The guitar is given a glorious tone, akin to the classic sound of the metal bands that once started it all. Fast riffs and rolling drums follow, with the drums in particular feeling in control of the pace of the song, seamlessly juxtaposing a mid tempo with the intense shrieks of both guitar and vocals overhead. Its mantra-esque ending is what makes it stunning. Beautiful repeating scales and melody repeat over and over gradually fading into an abyss of cymbals shattering with the walls of noise.
There is a good amount of experimentation and play on the album, along with it's difference in vibe. Something that has been achieved with the pairing of confidence and what is perhaps a more relaxed atmosphere that comes with knowing this was the final of their well thought out trilogy. Throat singing is buried subtly into the mix for the ending of prowl, and with their quieter moments they've showered noises and samples onto the backdrop of their black metal piece of art.
Wiegedood have stepped up even higher up the figurative black metal temple stairs, with a chest pumping confidence in their sound and their ambitions truly achieved. Their next steps will be awaited with curiosity and tense excitement. De Doden Hebben Het Goed III is a fiery whirlwind of glory for their friend, for the trilogy and for themselves.
De Doden Hebben Het Goed III is out now on Century Media records.