As a kid, rage is what got me into metal. I needed to find something that would channel what I was feeling, and listening to someone shrieking at the microphone, accompanied by a wall of distorted guitars and machinegun drumming, was a cathartic experience. Over the years, however, as I developed a tolerance for this musical aggression, finding that release has become more difficult. That’s why an album like Wiegedood‘s There’s Always Blood at the End of the Road is such a pleasure: A furious and unapologetic onslaught on the senses that, throughout its 44-minute run, does not give you any quarter.
Even for a black metal album, There’s Always Blood at the End of the Road is very dark. Many of the songs include screams or gagging sounds hidden somewhere under the walls of drums and guitars and, from time to time, we are given a glimpse into these horror that lie beneath. In some cases (as in “Nuages”) these screams and cries for help take a center stage; in others, they are more subtle, almost as if they only want your subconscious to perceive them. Just a little something to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It feels dirty and repulsive, and it is just great. It reminds us of the fact that, from the very beginning, black metal has always aimed to be a difficult genre to experience.
Of course, anybody can sample noises and screams and call it an album (Stalaggh/Gulaggh are proud to do just that). What makes Wiegedood special is that they always manage to maintain a sense of melody. Despite the rage, the neck-breaking speed, and even the gagging sounds that we occasionally hear in the background, it’s still musical. And while there are some dissonant sections here and there, it’s all tightly packed in a very cohesive (and excellently-produced) whole.
If There’s Always Blood at the End of the Road is an indication of what we can expect from Wiegedood now that they’re done with their De Doden Hebben Het Goed trilogy, then I’m sure the best is still to come. I hadn’t been this excited about an album in a long time, so I can’t wait to see what comes next… and to (finally!) catch them on the road.