The Netherlands has a rich history, where each region has its own folklore and history. This proves to be fertile ground for inspiration. A lot of Dutch underground Black Metal acts have used history and folklore. With “Verloren Vertellingen “, which translates as ‘lost tales’, four bands have teamed up, and have given their own interpretations of SOME OF these folklore tales. Every band has concocted two songs that are being presented on a 12” vinyl, released by the acclaimed Dutch label Zwaertgevegt. The first two songs have been concocted by the illustrious Hellevaerder.
Hellevaerder makes a splendid entrance with “In mijn hand werd zij as” (she turned to ashes in my hand). Together with “Als de nacht wederkeert” the straightforward Black Metal, with great hallucinating riffs, rolls out of my speakers without intro, remorse and immediately grabs me by the throat. Unique selling point is the well thought out melodies, and excellent female vocals of Miranda Visser. She growls, croaks, and screams and simply has impressive vocal cords befitting the music. With their first full length “In de nevel van afgunst” (2020) “Hellevaerder” already showed a lot of promise. These two excellent tracks show that they have grown significantly. Watch out for this band: if the constellations favor it, they will surpass national regions and will be internationally acclaimed.
Duindwaler is the project of Daan Bleumink and has released one EP (“Landloper” 2021). He also plays in Hellevaerder but still manages to have time with his solo project. Of course, Duindwaler shows resemblances with his other project, but the sound is more raw and evil. “De zieleneter” (the souleater) and “Alles is het waard” are typical orthodox Black Metal tracks, which are very good. The harsh vocals take a little getting used to and are sometimes buried in the mix. Although I prefer Hellevaerder this solo project offers a well appreciated dose of aggressive, intense and dark Black Metal. Daan proves to be an accomplished musician and I hope to hear much more of Duindwaler in the near future.
At this moment we are halfway through “Verloren vertellingen” as it is now time for Schavot to make its entrance. Schavot is the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Floris. He also plays (drums) in Asgrauw and in many, many more known and lesser-known bands/projects such as Meslamtaea and Sagenland. After an intro “Pieël” makes an instant impression. The loads of details, including guitar solos, in this nineties infused Black Metal is a sheer dark, epic delight to listen to. After an intro “Waart Oe!” makes a charismatic impression with superb atmosphere. The narrative female voices in the middle section make sure that the song has enough twists and make the vocals of Floris are extra powerful. It’s almost inhuman how Floris pulls off creating these great songs on his own (and not only on this project). All bands are in very good form on this EP but in my humble opinion Schavot is the most intriguing one and offers the best two songs. A full length of Schavot a.s.a.p. please!
Last but not least Floris makes a second entrance with the Asgrauw. This band doesn’t need any introduction. Already active more than ten years this Dutch underground band always surprises friend and foe with its direct songs which contain loads of atmosphere yet remains bold. “Ongeneu.jd” has a Punk atmosphere. Especially when listening to bassist Kaos which sees to a Punk-vibe, it makes for an intense and well-crafted song which takes no prisoners. “Na.chtgra.ver” starts the same but manages to impress me with its witty songwriting. Without forgetting ferocity, the eerie keyboards combined with powerful guitar riffs stand out. It shows that Asgrauw is still mastering the art of creating exquisite yet raw Black Metal and proves to be on top of their game.
“Verloren vertellingen” gives a very good impression on what can be found in the Dutch underground. With eight tracks from four different projects, it harbors a lot of value. I thoroughly enjoyed all the tracks presented and immediately ordered a copy. And I recommend that you go the Zwaertgevegt label and do the same: with only 197 copies I reckon this album will be sold out before you can say Satan three times. Great stuff!!!
Hellevaerder: 8,3 / 10
Duindwaler: 8,0 / 10
Schavot: 8,6 / 10
Asgrauw: 8,3 / 10
Release date: 13 October 2023
1. Hellevaerder – In mijn hand werd zij as
2. Hellevaerder – Als de nacht wederkeert
3. Duindwaler – De zieleneter
4. Duindwaler – Alles is het waard
5. Schavot – Pieël
6. Schavot – Waart Oe!
7. Asgrauw – Ongeneu.jd
8. Asgrauw – Na.chtgra.ver