Four years ago, during a trip to London, I bought the second album of these Belgian gentlemen, entitled 'Morinde'. It was an (almost) completely blind acquisition (next to Necro Deathmort's 'The Colonial Script') after briefly reading some very positive commentaries about their music. And I must admit for once I did the right thing following others opinions. Their hybrid of super filthy Sludge/Doom and the rawest brand of Black Metal worked very well and managed to drown me into their terribly disgusting universe quite easily.
So just two months ago I accidentally discovered they had just released a new album, with an amazingly un-kvlt orange cover, which was handled again by Consouling Sounds (a label who has been supporting other bands from their country such as Amenra, Gnaw Their Tongues or Wiegedood, among others) and I felt forced to get it as soon as possible.
First surprise, what they offer us on these 39 minutes divided between 5 different tracks is, without any doubt, the most intense, hypnotic and straight stuff they have recorded up to this date. In fact, the first time I played the vinyl I suddenly realized I had arrived to the end of the record and hadn't found too many references to Sludge or Doom, preferring in this occasion to take a closer approach to their pure Black Metal influences, with some hints of a small dose of occasional extra heaviness here and there. (Very) Big presence of the bass, with some amazingly progressive lines, chainsaw guitars with a very old-school vibe and a lot of blastbeats, next to a completely demented demon on the vocals.
But do not be afraid, the filth is still there, the nauseous atmosphere too, and their trance-like way of capturing the listener remains untouched, just in a faster and more diabolical approach, somewhere in the middle of good old Von and the first Mayhem, depending on the balance between monotonous riffs and evil melodies, in order to tell you the bizarre story of the demon you can see farting on the cover across a swamp full of evil creatures, which is depicted in the inside of the gatefold in a series of vignettes like a comic (weird and very cool).
Apart from the slight stylistic change, what makes 'Lede' as atmospheric, nasty and inmediately catchy as it is is the fact that they have managed to get an even more suitable production than the one they had on 'Morinde', Again, they chose to record it live (thou with a different guy this time, Frederik Segers) and, again, they sent it Tom Kvålsvoll, the Norwegian master of mastering (yeah, that's a lot of mastery), to capture every single detail and annoying noise of their offering to chaos so you and me can feel completely lacerated every time we spin this piece of vinyl.
Something's happening in Belgium, Lugubrum are becoming better and better and Alkerdeel are their closest competitors. Someone should think about convincing them on doing a split record.
Gia Thanatos is a webzine dedicated to music for the apocalyptic times. No matter the scene or genre it comes from, and mainly chosen according to its author's taste.