Opening with a wall of shuddering feedback, quickly followed by a storm of angry black metal blasting – what a great way to introduce yourself to a new listener! No pissing around with acoustic intros, fannying around with effects or the like – just straight into the marrow of their sound! To be honest, I’m pleased to say that the initial impression stuck with me throughout with ‘Odium Humani Generis’, which is the debut album from this Dutch black metal crew (whose name is a term coined by German author Jean Paul Richter, denoting the feeling someone would experience upon realising physical reality can never sate the desire of the mind – i.e, ‘world pain’).
Though they can clearly blast along effortlessly with any of the 90s 2nd wavers, they can also brood pretty eerily too, taking slices of early Mayhem, Gorgoroth and Enslaved, mincing them into a patty and frying them in their own brand of blackened spite. The production is a little flat, with instrumentation sounding as though they’ve been replaced with cardboard replicas at times, but that doesn’t really do much to destroy the atmosphere or hurt the songs thankfully. ‘Homo Homini Lupus’ seems to share a lot of similar notes in its opening riff to Emperor’s legendary ‘I Am The Black Wizards’, but it’s far from rip off territory as it soon takes its own life, sweeping with cold chorus, a twisted acoustic segment and a bile-filled hiss of manic riffage to finish. The album as a whole is a huge release of angry blast beats, tremolo picked iciness and scathing vocals, whilst mixing in sweeping mists of blast chiller coldness via their ability to creep and crawl with an inherent emanating sickness.
Weltschmerz certainly ticked a lot of boxes for things that I look for in extreme metal. They are cold, evil and acerbic, whilst retaining an unsanitary miasma of ‘wrongness’. Hell, they’ve even used some Beksiński artwork for their cover which makes me like them even more (can’t go far wrong with that!). For a debut, this is great. They clearly worship at all the right altars, and that is made clear by the great sound they’ve created on this album. Investigate without a second thought!
(7.5/10 Lars Christiansen)