Tag Archives: orewoet

New Wave of Dutch Black Metal Part 1

Granted, I’m not the first one to coin the phrase ‘New Wave of Dutch Black Metal’, but Dutch black metal music is definitely on the rise as was shown by the Roadburn line-up this year (2017) with many of the better bands from this country.

Though the scene is rather small, there’s a quite some high-quality output by bands like LasterNihillCirith Gorgor and many more. They represent different aspects of the black metal spectrum, so I wanted to look at some releases in that light in this article. I chose some releases that came out recently and that I would like to cover. This way I can put them in a slightly different light of the new wave of Dutch black metal, because I think there’s a lot of amazing homegrown music coming out.

Into the Out there with Dodecahedron, Laster, Terzij De Horde and Gnaw Their Tongues

Dodecahedron has recently released their second album, titled ‘Kwintessens’. A philosophical concept about the essence of things, the band moves in the footsteps of other acts for the thinking man like Laster, Nihill and Terzij De Horde. Inspired by literature and philosophy, amongst probably many other things, they deliver a type of black metal that moves beyond it’s common boundaries.

Doing this in a most effective and musical way, we find Terzij De Horde as one of the leading Dutch acts when it comes to stage performance, solid shows and captivating music. Sure, their music is not breaking the bonds of genre definitions, but definitely moves away from the traditional subject matter and has no need for frivolities. Their album ‘Self’ from 2015 showed the band shedding a former skin and for future music I expect nothing less from this band. Also, they are known for their distinctly awesome live performances, in which they surely deliver the quality that you would wish for (not a regular thing in the black metal world sadly). Bravely the band also went in the direction of literature, with a tribute release for the poet Henrik Marsman, who passed away 75 years earlier.

Laster is a band that you can find plenty of information about. Their music is a torrent of the absurd. Playful and somewhere touching upon the Carnavalesque in a Rabelaisian sense. Masked men deliver some of the most beautiful, peculiar sounding black metal in a long time. Surely the dissonance and harrowing screams are still there, but encapsulated in sounds that are pleasant, meandering and more accesible. It keeps surprising you, particularly the latest album ‘Ons Vrije Fatum’.

Grotesque at times, but also dauntingly experimental, the record of Dodecahedron incorporates various elements to create a mesmerizing display of force. Fronted by the legendary Michiel Eikenaar from Nihill, they have a confrontational and powerful live presence.  Acts like these, with elements of experimental music, postrock and even jazz really show the far extents toward which black metal can still grow. Nihill did it with noise and industrial, Terzij de Horde used screamo. Long live the experiment.

Beautifull arches and passages are painted with sound, but tormented vocals with a demented urgency draw the listener away from the splendour into blast-beat-ridden turmoil only to wash up on beaches of ambient sound later. Call it avant-gard, call it progressive, it definitely pushes the boundaries.  Fun fact is that part of Dodecahedron plays in Ulsect, a band playing a much more controlled and structured form of music. That contrast is one of the flattering things of the genre.

When we talk about acts that push the boundaries on the black metal genre, you have to talk about Gnaw Their Tongues and related projects by multi-instrumentalist Mories. If you take black metal and really distill it down to its essence, you pretty much get the music Mories produces. Eclectic, wild and horribly frightening, the use of samples, electronics and guitars becomes a very open field. The last album by Gnaw Their Tongues is a harrowing journey. ‘Hymns for the Broken, Swollen And Silent’ is the soundtrack to your nightmares. Musically this record shows the lack of boundaries for this musician. Interested? Check out his other projects Pyriphlegethon, Aderlating, Seirom and many, many more.

Sinking into the misery with Verwoed, Orewoet, Urfaust

Sometimes I like nothing better than to just sink into the layered swamp of sound that is atmospheric black metal. For me Verwoed is one of the best bands coming out of the woodwork in recent times. From the dissonant, bone-chilling opening riff onward, their album grabs you by the feels.

Amidst the whole waves of post black-metal and other deviations from the genre roots, it’s extremely comforting to have a band like Verwoed out there, playing music that is close to the wonderful original experience of black metal music (or atleast the one I had). It’s a feeling akin to much of the bands in the Cascadian corner (or whatever nice term they’ve conjured up these days for it), but lacks the focus on the natural realm. Verwoed focusses on the inwards emotions.

Another band I find is really similarly bewitching with beautifull riffs, swooping passages and an ethereal feal to the overal sound is Orewoet from the North of the Netherlands. Orewoet is  a relative new player in the Dutch scene, who released ‘Afrodisiacum der Vroomheid’ last year, an EP that is worth your listening time for sure. Waves and waves of distorted black metal fold into eachother to create dreamy soundscapes to just surf away with.

To me the masters of the atmospheric sound and not just in the Netherlands are the drunkards of gloom, the clochards of Urfaust themselves. This band might be one of the most respected ones out there. The two member formula doesn’t allow for much intensity and complex layers, but does open a path to purposeful, fervent and incandescent sound. Their live performances are a stream of music, a wallowing experience for the listener, where immersion is like sinking into a swamp of debauched despair. On their last labum ‘Empty Space Meditation’, the duo pushes that envelope even further.

More soon in part 2.

Little Devil Black Ritual II

On a saturday night it’s a good moment to head to the Little Devil in Tilburg for a drink and some pitch black metal, because it’s time for the second edition of Little Devil Black Ritual.

The festival took place last year as well and it is a two day event, but it’s well worth checking out some of the bands hailing from the deep underground of the Dutch black metal scene. Opener today was Asgrauw, who I missed. Luckily I entered in time to catch the best named band ever: Dood.

Little Devil Black Ritual is not a creamy, popular black metal bands festival, but manages to dig our gems from the underground that are hard to catch live or sometimes just barely known. It’s not for those who ‘listened to Mayhem…once’, but for people who love the darker sound. Though rather conservative in outlook, I’ve enjoyed my stay here and would recommend it to any who are into this music.


Dood means death in Dutch and the band is remarkably young with only having existed for a good 5 years. They did release two albums and embrace every element we have come to ascribe to the black metal style. Though their sound is not something to brag about, their masked vocalist does add a certain je ne sais quoi to the performance. There are some technical issues with the keys, but they’re buried deep in the walls of guitar work.

Though I can enjoy their performance, there’s something about them that is just too easy. Like their name, the choices the band makes for their whole expression are somewhat predictable and middle of the road as far as black metal goes. It’s not very exciting for those who like to push further. That’s alright though, the foundation of any genre is the dedicated few holding the fort. It gives credence to the existence.


Orewoet seems to deviate a little from that. Named after a dutch romantic novel by the writer Emy Koopman (it seems, I have no conclusive evidence), the group has only just released their first offering titled ‘Afrodisiacum Der Vroomheid’ on Heidens Hart Records. The group has plenty of experience on the stage, having played in bands like Ehtraid Engrin, Gestalte and Weltschmerz. The controlled and measured way in which the performance is delivered and the great delivery are witnesses of the experience this band brings.

Their overall sound is rather oldschool, without much pretense or progressive elements to it. That mentality they also bring to the stage,  no bullshit with this group! Orewoet delivers their furious music as it should  be done. Musically they fit in with the more conservative Finnish sound methinks. Great band, who I’d like to hear more of.


Though I have to admit to liking their name, the band Hekel is not something that really attracts me. Though I can submerge myself in their hypnotic, ritualistic sound in album form, it can be rather dull live. There’s the act, the mystery and the performance, all in place, but after the energy of Orewoet it simply does not hold up much for me. Good material, also their EP on Heidens Hart was enjoyable, but live a rather static affair.

You have to appreciate the amount of ambiance they bring with the looks and items gathered. This band has been active for 23 years and truly does have that oldschool sound to them and a dispassionate delivery that shows contempt the way black metal used to for performance conventions. In that static delivery emerges a ritual, a seance of sorts that you as a listener are part of.


The Belgian black masters of LVTHN have been very productive in recent times, which explains their rapid rise in the scene and headliner spot. The direct impact of their name equals their sound, which is confrontational, direct and fierce. De vocals of their frontman are delivered with a frantic urgency. It’s the righteous headliner for tonight.

Improvised altars adorn the stage, but there’s little in the way of show to the fierce act of this group. Blistering black metal with an almost claustrofobic feel to it at times. The delivery is great, a tight show and a whole lot of energy. The eerie passages of dissonant guitars break the surge of sound at the right times. Apart from their frontman, the band appears to focus on delivering the sound more than anything. Truth be told, head and shoulders above the rest this evening. The closing act for a great night of Dutch black metal.

Next year again!

Foto’s: Justina Lukosiute