Wiegedood De Doden Hebben Het Goed 01)I remember the days when I had very little to worry about. Money was money, work was work, school was school, and life was life. Heading out to dinner or swinging by the bar were not so much planned as spontaneous. I was in control of life, was making money, stressed over what I wanted to stress over, and focused on what I wanted to focus on. My health was good and life was simple. Then I had kids. Mind you, I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world, but it is incredible how a couple spawn can transform a lackadaisical lifestyle into one of routine and worry. Everyday apprehension is fueled by medical bills, daycare, diapers, clothing, public school, and Thomas-the-fucking-Tank-Engine. Just ask Al Kikuras; he’ll tell ya. But the first year is the worst. Nothing could distract me from the through-the-roof fear of a newborn getting sick, choking on something, or being taken one night by the absolutely frightening “sudden infant death syndrome.” SIDS (as it is known).

And that brings us to Wiegedood’s debut, De Doden Hebben Het Goed. How? Well, guess what the Dutch word “wiegedood” translates to in English? You guessed it. SIDS, “crib death,” “cot death,” or any other terrifying word you want to call it. While Wiegedood and wiegedood are both saturated with pain, anguish, and sadness, the biggest difference between the word and the band is that the band is quite predictable. They are very much what you would expect from a melodic/post-black metal band made up of members from Belgium’s Amenra, Hessian, Rise and Fall, and Oathbreaker. These worshippers of the Church of Ra bring you long, drawn-out songs full of fast-paced BM tremolo picking, blistering drum work, creeping builds, and somber layers of desperation and sadness. Paint the backdrop in blackened landscapes and brush in random doomy, clean-guitar passages to balance out the clouds of anguished rasps and you got yourself DDHHG.

“Svanesang” gets going in a hurry with all that black metal fury you’ve come to love (or hate for all you BM haters). Its initial aggression reminds me of the beatings I get from Gorgoroth, and its melodic qualities dabble deeply in the emotions of cold, hopeless numbers from Horna and borrow from the solemnity of Amenra. For the most part, this song pounds and screeches over some standard riffage for its thirteen minutes of post-black builds and mood. Halfway through, however, it halts and substitutes hostility for gentle clean guitars that doomingly act as an intermediate between the bedlams surrounding it.

Wiegedood De Doden Hebben Het Goed 02

The other bookend of DDHHG is much like the opener. “Onder Gaan” is long (twelve minutes this time) and has similar varieties dropped in during its length. But rather than squeeze in soothing clean guitars or beautifully haunting acoustic strums (see “Kwaad Bloed”), the closer opts for a massive build that dies momentarily before erupting back into a colossal, emotion-laden riff. These melodic sweeps slowly fade away and the outro leaves you uncomfortable and troubled from the female spoken-word reverberating in the blackened void.

The hard-hitting “Kwaad Bloed” and moody title track fill in gaps of this four-track, forty-minute debut to yield a package of sadness and despair that has been fucking with me for nearly a week. After nearly a dozen listens, this band (and their band name), the atmosphere of the music, and the album artwork (which is my favorite of the year so far) have invited Dr. Debbie Downer to the party. She sure does like her black metal, even if she is the pits. Having said that, DDHHG is definitely a grower and the song structures/lengths make it an album reserved for those attentive moments after the kids go to bed. The various stops-starts and cleaner passages keep the music interesting, and a few spins will force the mood to settle in (if you allow it). However, this isn’t groundbreaking, the compression is exhausting, and it lacks much of the emotion and spontaneity found in the members’ other projects (specifically Amenra and Oathbreaker). So, if you’re a parent that masochistically wants to recall those late-night fears, then settle in and let Dr. Debbie snuggle up with you.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: ConSouling Sounds
Websites: Facebook.com/Wiegedood
Release Dates: Out Worldwide 05.08.2015

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  • Martin Knap

    Nicely done with that personal tone and the kids, I would put something lame into the review like Belgian pedophile rings or something like that… Looks like this album is worth a listen.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Thanks for the kind words Martin. Yeah, I definitely would have approached this review much differently if I didn’t have kids. It’s like movies involving kids or a father/son relationship. I couldn’t care less about that shit until I had kids. You become more susceptible to those sorts of things after that. And once I got into this album, that’s all I could think about. Definitely worth a listen to see if the moodiness affects you similarly or not.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        When I was young, it was hard to imagine life with kids. Now, as a father of three girls, it’s hard to imagine life without them.

        That first birth was a mind-blower. There’s just you and your wife, and then suddenly there’s this little person who emerges from the canal and seems to have come out of nowhere. Great times.

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          Yeah, frightening shit. It’s all good at the hospital and then when you get the kid home it’s like a horror movie where you’re trapped alone in a house with a monster. Neither of you know what to do and for some reason running upstairs to escape seems like a good idea. But I have no idea what my life was like before them. #hallmarkmoment #dr.debbieisabitch

          • Monsterth Goatom

            For sure. I was scared shitless when we left the hospital. I’m like, how are we going to manage without all the nurses and doctors around? We handled our first baby like rare china, she seemed so fragile.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Oh man… been there, done that. And then comes the second one and then you barely know where they are half the time.

          • Celaeno

            oh lord. you’re hashtagging now? well placed though, lightened the mood a bit. great review.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Yeah, I felt some lightening needed to happen in this not-so-happy topic we started. Thanks very much for the kind words.

      • Excellent review!! I completely understand how you feel. Sleeping next to the crib, getting up countless times to make sure the baby is still breathing. Of course now, several years and trips to the ER down the line, you discover how resilient kids are but there is always a fear there. Not just of your kids getting hurt but that you may never sleep past 8 AM again.

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          Thanks very much dude! And I hear ya. Lately I’ve seen the sun come up every morning because of my two-legged alarm clocks.

  • Dion Ka

    I very much like the song you embedded. Great atmosphere although the compression is pretty bad. I’m interested in listeingn to the whole album!

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Yeah, the compression bummed me out a bit.

    • Wilhelm

      I don’t think it’s all that bad sounding – if it were overproduced and polished, the compression would sound worse. Still, there’s no reason to compress black metal this much.

  • De2013

    Great review. I will check this out. I liked the embedded song.

    And yes, being a father makes the name of this band terrible one.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Thanks very much sir.