Dutch Metal

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.

Asphyx – Necroceros Review

Asphyx – Necroceros Review

“I warned you all this would be a year of Steel on a mean death bender and here we are. Let’s kick it off in grand fashion with the brand new offering from death metal royalty, Asphyx. After shamefully overlooking 2016 release Incoming Death, I found myself needing to get my phyx of new material from a band I’ve enjoyed since my college days. Necroceros is the Dutch devils’ tenth album and the first written and recorded during a global pandemic.” Necro-Destructo.

Sagenland – Oale groond Review

Sagenland – Oale groond Review

Oale groond is apparently steeped in the history and traditions of Twente, a region our resident Dutch expert told me is a rural area in the Eastern Netherlands. Releases following such long periods of seeming inactivity tend to go one of two ways: the first is that the resulting product is highly polished and evidently the labor of many hours; the second is that the band was truly inactive and subsequent albums demonstrate the lack of imagination which had previously stunted the band. Which way does this go?” groond to a halt.

Soulburn – Noa’s D’ark Review

Soulburn – Noa’s D’ark Review

Originally formed by two members of Asphyx when their band went on hiatus, Soulburn resurfaced under their original moniker in 2014, after a hiatus of their own and a stint carrying the name To The Gallows during which Rogga Johanssen briefly joined the line-up. Nowadays, the cast still includes founding member Eric Daniels, as well as Legion of the Damned guitarist Twan van Geel and Graceless members Remco Kreft and Marc Verhaar. On paper, a team like this should be able to make a pretty killer record.” Death reclamation.

Celestial Season – The Secret Teachings Review

Celestial Season – The Secret Teachings Review

“Talk about unexpectedly bumping into a long lost friend! Back in the 90s when the doom death movement was new and being driven by the “Peaceville Three,” there was a lesser known Dutch group called Celestial Season trying to horn in on the grimly emo fun. I first encountered them when I bought their 1995 sophomore album Solar Lovers and ended up quite taken with their gloomy yet accessible style. There were some great moments and I even loved their rendition of Ultravox‘s classic 80s hit “Vienna.” After that I never heard from Celestial Season again.” Surprise homework assignment!

Molassess – Through the Hollow Review

Molassess – Through the Hollow Review

“In 2006, siblings Selim and Farida Lemouchi started a psychedelic occult rock band called The Devil’s Blood. In 2013, it collapsed. During its existence, the band drew a loyal following in underground music. Its music balanced retro occult and innovative psych rock. Selim, guitar player and spiritual heart of the band, was uncompromising in his vision, resulting in shows that were as much Satanic rituals as they were concerts, including buckets of pig blood and candles all over the place. In 2014, after struggling with depression for much of his existence, Selim requested permission to die from his mother and sister shortly before taking his own life. 5 years later, Roadburn overlord Walter Hoeijmakers asked the former members of The Devil’s Blood whether they would be interested in creating a commissioned piece of music. Molassess was born.” Blood and life travel strange pathways.

Ayreon – Transitus Review

Ayreon – Transitus Review

“There’s nobody quite like Arjen Anthony Lucassen. Sure, Tobias Sammet of Avantasia is the other big metal opera guy, but he can’t match Arjen for variety or quality. Besides the prog/power sound of Ayreon‘s core albums, his other successes include the gorgeous classical instrumentation of The Gentle Storm, the mopey Porcupine Tree prog of Guilt Machine, and more.” Show tunes on show.

Burial Remains – Spawn of Chaos Review

Burial Remains – Spawn of Chaos Review

“Today marks not only my 100th full review here at AMG, but also the first time that I will be covering a band for the second time. Double milestone! Just over a year ago, I wrote about Trinity of Deception, the debut full-length from Dutch band Burial Remains. It was thoroughly enjoyable, if somewhat unremarkable in the songwriting department, but its primary victory was in achieving the quintessential Swedish death metal sound. Recent re-listening reminded me just how potent the band’s HM-2 attack can be, so I’ve been mixing and stockpiling two-stroke gasoline to prepare for all of the chainsawing I expect to hear on follow-up Spawn of Chaos.” The saw is the law.