Himelvaruwe – CCIII [Netherlands, Raw Black / Ambient] (2017)

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Self Released | 5-25-17

Yes. this is the weird shit I come to the internet for. From the very fitting grainy cover to the fact that since its release back in May, I have heard very little of this project proves that this is a great find. to be honest, I started this review months ago and let it go to draft only to find it sitting waiting for me. What I realized is this sound is still pleasing and still exciting even after these many months.

The ambient side of this project is important as the swirling atmosphere is completed by the distant and fading memory of black metal. Similar to things like Paysage D’hiver, these types of releases rely on the support of people who want to hear music that is closest to white noise as possible. When discussing fidelity and choices in sound production, Himelvaruwe succeeds at brining the sound perhaps to the edge of music/noise while still retaining its emotional components. I am glad I found this after so many months.

there are a lot of releases in 2017, and sometimes releases just sit on shelves without he attention it deserves. This band has not done anything outside of this demo but still has some updates regarding physical copies of this demo. I am going to strive to make it a point to follow this act and make sure I listen and report the same month as their next release. No promises though.

Vreemdeling – Demo [Netherlands, Black] (2016)

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The Throat | 9-15-16

The Throat | 9-15-16

Image is important in metal. while it is not a paramount aspect in music, it certainly helps an act stand out among the thousands of peers which all resides on the same Bandcamp page. There are sometimes when a lack of accessibility and information can be that edge which gets an act noticed. Take Vreemdeling whose lack of information and song titles and clear production has coalesced into a demo which is so repellent it makes me what to stay here longer.

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Iskandr – Heilig Land [Netherlands, Black] (2016)

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Haeresis Noviomagi |6-5-16

Haeresis Noviomagi |6-5-16

I love it when band names are autocorrected in search engines so finding them is even more of an adventure. No worries as I think myself and Iskandr have already met, or atleast have been introduced between friends. Iskandr is a tortured soul from the Netherlands who also does duties in Lubbert Das and Turia both excellent bands with excellent releases in 2015. Where Both previous bands were multiple in nature, the man known as “O” breaks out for a hellish ride through grief and suffering.

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Turia – Dor [Netherlands, Black] (2015)

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Haeresis Noviomagi | 11-15-15

Haeresis Noviomagi | 11-15-15

I can say with certainty I have loved everything the Dutch label Haeresis Noviomagi has released. I can say this since it has only been two cassettes. they have been really good cassettes though. the last Haeresis Noviomagi cassette was Lubbert Das, a particularly mind melting black metal which seemed to be dedicated to an old Bosch painting. Turia follows Lubbert Das in continuing the undercurrent of harrowing Dutch black metal which sounds like the last bastion of sanity being razed to the ground.

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Lubbert Das – Deluge [Netherlands, Black] (2015)

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Haeresis Noviomagi | 10-30-15

Haeresis Noviomagi | 10-30-15

“Meester snyt die keye ras / Myne name Is lubbert Das” is the inscription on a 1494 painting by by Hieronymus Bosch called “The Extraction of the Stone of Madness or The Cure of Folly.” Lubbert Das is a comical fool in Dutch literature and is depicted as a patient having the stone of madness cut away by drilling a hole inside one’s head. The Dutch inscription is the statement of the patient’s name and the want to have his stone removed. Wow, all of this off of just searching what the band’s name meant.

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Wederganger – Halfvergaan Ontwaakt [Netherlands, Black] (2015)

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Self Released | 7-24-15

Self Released | 7-24-15

Let us remember that Werderganger means “one who walks again” which is a reference to the undead as well as amazing beyond words. I only get excited regarding band’s names when they are so apropos to the band’s music. I first heard Werderganger last year with the demo Gelderse Drek. At just 2 songs totaling 11 minutes, Gelderse Drek was a frustratingly interesting exploration of traditional black metal vocals contrasted with a melancholic baritone voice. My reccomendation for Gelderse Drek came with the plea that this band had to make more music lest I would uncoil mentally. Halfvergaan Ontwaakt has come in the night as a savior which may also be a further unraveling into darkness.

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Rotting Casket – Simply Rotten Death [Netherlands, Death] (2015)

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Self Released | 2-14-15

Self Released | 2-14-15

As of this moment, the lyrical themes for this Dutch death metal bands are not available. I am going to take a guess that Rotting Casket and their debut EP Simply Rotten Death is going to have somewhat to do with dying. I maybe completely wrong but judging by the artwork and general atmosphere, I feel we are stepping into a world of rot and horror. I apologize if this record is filled with optimistic hope.

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Desolate Shrine – The Heart of the Netherworld [Finland, Death] (2015)

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Dark Descent Records | 1-13-15

Dark Descent Records | 1-13-15

It takes a large album to have a 4 minute introduction. One must have an enormous sound to justify near 5 minutes of preamble. Despite Desolate Shrine existing for a few years, this Finnish project is swooping into 2015 on the wings of much anticipation and hype. Perhaps it is becasue of the growing appreciation for newer death metal or the fact that Desolate Shrine is a one man act aided by additional vocalists. Perhaps it is becasue the cover for the project’s third release The Heart of the Netherworld looks really cool. Maybe it is becasue of the really long intro. Regardless of any explanation, Desolate Shrine is a storm which is looming on the horizon of 2015.

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Nihill – Verderf [Netherlands, Black] (2014)

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Burning World Records | 12-1-14

Burning World Records | 12-1-14

Holy god. alright. For the past few years I have sung the praises of Dodecahedron, a dutch angular blach metal band who came out with one stellar record in 2012 and haven’t been heard from since. The vocalist for Dodcahedron, Michiel Eikenaar, was in an earlier band Nihill who have been releasing material since 2007. I know it is difficult to compare two dutch black metal bands with the same singer but trust me when I say the one scary as hell black metal band is different than the other scary as hell black metal band.

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Wederganger – Gelderse Drek [Netherlands, Black] (2014)

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Self Released | 1-1-14

Self Released | 1-1-14

I believe, more than anything, it was the aesthetic which drove me into the rotting arms of this Danish black metal band. Though this band’s demo only comes in two songs, the combination of decent black metal, low baritone crooning, and shrill banshee vocals was enough to sit down and listen to whatever they were saying. Add to this the absolute devotion to Germanic folklore and undeath and they could say anything they wanted and I would be enthralled. Gelderse Drek was released earlier this year but is now seeing release by a small company called Daemon Worship. Thank the floating crypt ghasts this release did not go unnoticed.

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