Once again, the Netherlands have flexed (and flexed HARD) on the global black metal scene by summoning forth yet another excruciatingly good new record. This time, the subject of our awe is Utrecht's one-person annihilating force Verwoed (formerly known as Woudloper—"woodsman" in Dutch). This woodsman has traded his axe for pure fury on Bodemloos, the project's debut, which is a harrowing, black metal brown acid trip of a record. It's not quite Urfaust-level in terms of the unhinged and the unexpected, but there's a definite psychedelic undercurrent pulsating in there, and a heavy emphasis on well-crafted melody.
The thing about this album that really stands out to me personally, though, is its sheer listenability. There are a lot of interesting, complex, thematically dense black metal albums out there—like, a LOT—but how many of them do you really want to listen to on a daily basis? Only a few bands of this breed manage to nail that delicate balance between challenging and effortlessly enjoyable, and Verwoed occupies that space handily. I've found myself returning to this album again and again, and have got a sneaking suspicion that many of you might feel the same once you get an earful.
Bodemloos comes courtesy of Argento Records, who will release the album on CD, digital, and etched vinyl (the LP's B-side features an etching by artist Reuben Sawyer). Preorders are live now, and you can stream Bodemloos in its anguished entirely right here: