Dutch Metal

Fluisteraars – Gegrepen door de geest der zielsontluiking Review

Fluisteraars – Gegrepen door de geest der zielsontluiking Review

Fluisteraars was undoubtedly my biggest surprise discovery of 2020. Everything about Bloem was simultaneously right for me and completely wrong for me. But I came back to it, again and again, and finally, it wormed its way onto my year-end list and continues to be a staple of my listening for long walks on the side of the road. I was stunned to learn that they had a new album coming this year, but looking forward to new material from these guys.” Flowers of melo-evil.

Ossaert – Pelgrimsoord Review

Ossaert – Pelgrimsoord Review

Ossaert is an anonymous duo from the Dutch city of Zwolle, which they describe as “indoctrinated.” This is foreshadowing in that the duo, spearheaded by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter P., specializes in a breed of black metal not unlike the many confused faces of Batushka. Utilizing cold, ruthless second-wave black metal run through the dark lens of religion, they balance blasphemy with a spiraling feeling of madness.” Religion as brutality.

Ophiuchi – Shibboleth Review

Ophiuchi – Shibboleth Review

“For one, I wouldn’t have guessed that the topics of the band’s doomy black nightmares revolved around Greek mythology. But they do. While the abduction of Persephone inspired Bifurcaria Bifurcata, this year’s Shibboleth is inspired by Homer’s Odyssey. If you’ve heard the music, you know it’s deeper than just a concept album. Like the music, the lyrics are waves on the ocean. Metamorphesizing in color and shape, gathering secrets as they move to shore—patiently waiting their turn to smash you into the rocks. It’s been four years, and I still don’t know Bifurcaria Bifurcata‘s secrets. And Shibboleth proves once again that Ophiuchi is as mysterious to me as it was in 2017.” Mysteries abound.

Cryptosis – Bionic Swarm Review

Cryptosis – Bionic Swarm Review

“Wow. Thrash is kind of having a year, folks. There are large swaths of the metal community who feel that the fires that heated the furnace in which all great thrash was forged went out decades ago, while others feel that those flames still sputter and cough and produce a great record every now and again. Well, something about a worldwide shutdown secondary to a pandemic seems to have stoked whatever embers remained within that furnace into a raging inferno, because the first quarter of 2021 is basically littered with quality thrash releases of a variety of styles. Therefore, I didn’t hesitate to pick up Bionic Swarm, the debut record from Dutch thrashers Cryptosis, a band who’d like to throw their hat into the progressive cyber-thrash ring with Paranorm.” 4 Swarm to wengeance.

Korpse – Insufferable Violence Review

Korpse – Insufferable Violence Review

“For those who don’t know anything about brutal Dutch bruisers Korpse, the cover of their third full-length Insufferable Violence provides an interesting commentary. See, nobody except weirdos and fun-hating scolds take brutal death metal seriously, at least thematically. If you didn’t get into horror in high school, you probably won’t get it – and that’s fine. For those of us who did, we’ll pass by album covers with all manner of atrocity on them, thinking nothing of it. It’s not so much about being desensitized to real violence and death, but just the fake stuff.” Korpse grinding.

Epica – Omega Review

Epica – Omega Review

“This is a surreal moment for me. The first review I ever read on this site was Diabolus in Muzaka‘s hit piece on Epica‘s The Holographic Principle, an album which I thought was super fun if overlong and oddly organized. I’ve been a die-hard fan of this band for over a decade now, having introduced myself to them with The Divine Conspiracy back in high school. With each successive release thereafter, save for the miscalculation that was Requiem for the IndifferentEpica refined and perfected their sound to the point that they are now unmistakable for any other symphonic metal band.” Omega predator.

Shotgun Revolution – IV Review

Shotgun Revolution – IV Review

“I was so confused when I picked up Shotgun Revolution for review a few weeks ago. I thought for sure someone here reviewed them already on this site, but a cursory search returned zero results. Then, I suddenly remembered I was thinking of Shotgun Rodeo, and all was right with the world again. So, I downloaded my totally up-for-grabs promo and smashed that heckin’ play button. Instantly I teleported to 2005, when post-grunge and hard rock saturated every radio station on the East Coast. I thought this kind of thing was pretty much dead in the water, but I guess I was wrong.” Gun up or stand down.

Buried – Oculus Rot Review

Buried – Oculus Rot Review

“As New York remains encased in snow and ice, I’ve increasingly relied on death metal to keep my brain active and semi-functional. This is why I grabbed the debut by Dutch death act Buried from the corrupted effluvium of the promo sump. Formed from the wreckage of Pyaemia and featuring 3 members of that defunct death unit, Buried bill themselves as ‘progressive death’ and ‘old school death with a modern touch,’ but what I hear is a bullying blend of brutal, slam and tech death crafted to crush your skull like a spiked baseball bat.” Eye of the trigger.

Schemer Heer – The Dragon, His Angels and the Exaltation of Death Review

Schemer Heer – The Dragon, His Angels and the Exaltation of Death Review

“Imagine, if you will, a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed black metal enthusiast hopping out of bed one bright January morning excited to rake the promo bin for some lovely blasphemous soundtracks for cursing dead gods above with outstretched fist. He sees Schemer Heer, scanning the promo: “Schemer Heer… brings bombastic, black metal and horror…” and he hungrily snatches it up. It certainly looks icy and blasphemous, and he gets all tingly inside, the way others might feel about that special someone or a hug from their favorite teddy bear. He presses play and…Dungeon synth.” Dungeon punked.

TDW – The Day the Clocks Stopped Review

TDW – The Day the Clocks Stopped Review

“Hey, remember the infamous manbun album, where Pain of Salvation‘s Daniel Gildenlöw sang about his experience lying in the hospital and almost dying for over 70 minutes? Well, The Day the Clocks Stopped has TDW’s frontman Tom de Wit singing about his experience lying in the hospital and almost dying for over 70 minutes. But TDW’s album is 5 minutes longer and instead of almost dying just once, Tom spent a long time on his sick bed, fighting bowel disease, sensory processing sensitivity and medical mistakes, and he almost died twice! Take that, Daniel!” Hospital-core.