There’s been some cracking stuff coming out of Belgium of late. The Amenra clans spilling out into Oathbreaker and Weigedood have really made us sit up and pay attention as have the likes of Alkerdeel. It’s definitely worth paying attention to the country at the moment. Here are a new lot although with only a four track EP and around 16 minutes worth of material you are not going to get the most comprehensive fix out of this young band, more an idea of what they may be capable of. On first listen I was tempted to bung them in with all the other post black metal bands flooding the market but to be fair that is not a tag this lot put upon themselves. Post Metal / rock and even sludge for sure but they seem to avoid the black moniker apart from stating influences of the likes of Deafheaven and Alcest.
Opener ‘Dodenleer ‘clatters in with everything going crazy, from the drums to the corrosive screeches from the vocal department. It’s rigorous and rough around the edges before slowing a bit and allowing bellicose roars and a groove to flow heftily out the speakers. There’s certainly some naval gazing parts as they shimmer with a dream laden texture midway through the number before building it up again gradually but never quite delivering on the might of the opening segment. Similarly ‘Meander’ does just that and plods in without much focus or dynamics leaving me waiting for something to happen, a blackened scream finally looms out and payload is delivered with plenty of aggression and chops. Melody is a bit too clean and upbeat though and despite a bit of gloom from the acoustic outro I just feel something lacking. Progressive textures follow on ‘Thou Art Spiritless’ as do some clean and harmonic vocals. The band are certainly chopping and changing things as some hardcore sounding growls are next riding roughshod over the music and one gets the vibe of everything going on here from Alcest to Isis and Cult Of Luna. I guess it flows together pretty well but personally I’m finding it all just a bit too contrived for my tastes. Theirs more than a touch of leaden sludge about the title track wrapping this up and it’s slab like delivery could definitely weather a storm, that is until they go and add some emo(tive) vocals which just make me cringe. Luckily they are short lived and the band bruise their way to a finale but despite plenty of spins this one just hasn’t really grabbed me. I guess I can put that down more to my own tastes and am sure others will find this the next best thing, there’s also plenty of time for the band to build upon things. So, although I won’t be saying Belgium is continuing to blow us away, there’s plenty of hope for the future here.
(6/10 Pete Woods)