If you have been keeping an eye on these oddly sounding named Belgians you will probably be expecting greatness from this the 3rd part of their trilogy of “the dead.” Yeah you could even compare to Night, Dawn and Day really and all three of Romero’s epics are masterpieces and on an equal footing as far as I am concerned and that is something that can be also applied to these albums. With the digital download appearing I grabbed this so quickly I didn’t even realise that the past two albums had been reviewed by another writer here and I had actually covered them elsewhere myself. I have to feel pretty guilty as I have taken the chance away from him being as equally emphatic about this as the other two parts as I am sure he would have been (sorry Andrew). One play on this and I was floored. I have witnessed the power not only on the other albums and in material of affiliated acts such as Amenra and Oathbreaker but have also caught Wiegedood live several times and been equally devastated by the power displayed by their performance. This is something that new label Century Media also no doubt saw, snapping the band up and hopefully giving them a higher profile in the future. It might be totally over the top to say this but Wiegedood are one of the most exciting new black metal bands around. Let me clarify what I mean by “new” too as it is solely due to the fact they have only been around for 4 years, as far as their sound is concerned it is old, true and with no modern ‘post’ histrionics. This is proper black metal through and through.
Again the album is comprised of 4 tracks that are absolutely huge in stature and massive in sound. We start off with Prowl and an instant battering welter of drums on a blood curdling scream before the riffs pile in instantly proving an incredibly forceful chugging melody. For the next 33 minutes you just have to be prepared to hang on to your hat and weather the storm as the precise drive hardly allows you to draw breath for a second. Focus and control is what this is all about. The unrelenting quagmire of sound does not lack in memorable hooks in the slightest and the vocals are constantly attacking with blood-curdling fury. As a solo steams in and a slightly more morbid tone infects the melody you should already be hooked, banging head and slamming fists. I kind of get the passion from this that I did in first discovering a band like Enslaved in their early era; there is a bit of their pillaging feudal sound to be found here and although the production is as chunky as one would expect with all those years gone down the line the aestheticism of black metal’s roots are all over this. Add some chanting throat singing giving it an even greater macabre atmosphere and this is as solid as it gets. Despite title there is very little calm and the dead are completely restless with ‘Doodskalm’ and rampage through the graveyard chewing great bloody swathes through anyone foolish enough to get in their way. It’s totally exhilarating, there’s no other word for it, if music is your drug of choice you won’t find a bigger rush that this. The trio that are Wim, Gilles and Levy have this down to a fine art and you wonder just how they managed to perfect this just a year or so after the last part. The shivering riffs chill to the bone and the bravado is fantastic. We do get a little bit of a respite and some bleak and cold tones to give the madcap blitz to simmer but this just makes it all the more potent when it steams back in and tension builds palpably.
There is no chance of picking a favourite track or moment here but on subsequent tracks you have to marvel out how they keep things so consistently epic and memorable. The 12 minute album title track starts in slow eerie fashion and has the necrotic vibe of a band like Mayhem at their best before the kick drum wallops in and things tear off. The first time I listened to this when it hits it completely floors you. In fact I had it on so loud it flattened several houses in the area. The tremulous melody is as near to perfect as you will find and like a bite from the living dead will slowly infect every vein as it spreads through your body until your pulse completely stops and shamble back in all your reanimated gory glory. I may actually be trivialising the subject matter as it is in fact much more serious and the album trilogy is dedicated to the loss of Florent Pevée [from Kabul Golf Club], a close friend of Wim Coppers who died at 21. The mournful interlude on this track no doubt reflects the personal anguish and one feels like the trio have completely put their heart and soul into this. I am still to play all 3 albums consecutively but can’t think of a greater and more profound epitaph than this. One wonders what they will move onto next thematically and musically but a final wreath here is laid courtesy of Parool another fully charged vitriolic sledgehammer of a statement that’s going to have anyone listening gasping for breath and eagerly pressing play again at conclusion.
As far as the aforementioned Romero trilogy is concerned, put a gun to my head and I would probably pick Day as the greatest part due to intensity, atmosphere, nihilistic message and sheer over the top gore. Yeah this album may actually have topped its predecessors slightly too and gets one of the highest marks I ever give as it is just so close to perfection as you can possibly get. If anything else tops this in 2018 I will truly be surprised; 33:54 of pure class.
(9.5/10 Pete Woods)