The Most Disappointing Albums ov 2018 So Far: Wiegedood – De Doden Hebben Het Goed III
What? It’s only May? Shiiiiiieeeeeetttt
We’re often asked by readers why the majority of our reviews seem to skew towards ratings of 3.5/5 or better. Is that we’re too generous with our arbitrary rankings? Are we deliberately trying to overhype records? Can we actually count? To answer all these questions with just one word, no. The real reason is pretty simple. We don’t get paid for this. Writing things here only costs us. Time, patience, time, electrons, drugs, passion, time, and time are all spent compiling content to share with you all. So amidst the relentless stream of awesome music we’re graced with, it is increasingly tough to find time to spend listening to stuff that just doesn’t do it for you. Let alone spend even more precious time writing a 600-word elaboration of the word “meh”, replete with header images, embeds, and links. Fuck that.
What about all those big label bands that jump the shark and flop hard? Sure, it would be somewhat cathartic to shit on a bunch of super popular garbage that you simply cannot understand the appeal of. But how many scathing reviews of Megadeth’s latest album Chemicals In The Water…The Frogs Are Gay do you have to read? Once again, fuck that. However, there are unfortunately times when a band you really dig release something you were looking forward to and it just straight-up doesn’t live up to your expectations. That shit is disappointing. Now normally we’d at least wait until the end of the year to dredge up our dissatisfaction(s), but talking with a bunch of people in our
circle bowl has led us to the conclusion that 2018 has been a relatively lacklustre year thus far. Before you start to spurt “b..b..but what about [insert 2018 album you shoehorn into any discussion on the daily], huh?“, yes, there have been some great records released. Plenty have been covered over the past few months here already, with more on the way. Today though, I’d like to talk about some of the records which SHOULD have been great, but weren’t, for whatever reason. Actually, I don’t have enough free time. Guess I’ll just have to do one for now.
Wiegedood – De Doden Hebben Het Goed III
This is the one that hurts me most to say. Aside from the high probability that I’m saying their Belgian-ass words all wrong in the first place, it really bums me out having to say that this third installment in the De Doden Hebben Het Goed trilogy just did not grab me at all. Wiegedood‘s 2015 debut was very well received around these parts, and for good reason. The trio’s intense riffing comprised of hyper-melodic melancholy and aggressive outpourings of anguish was engaging and perhaps most importantly, easily identifiable amongst a genre well-beyond its saturation point. 2017’s De Doden Hebben Het Goed II was another 4-tracks that kind of split things right down the middle. Two tracks were absolute monsters, countered by two hypnotic, yet ultimately forgettable songs. However, the record’s strengths narrowly outweighed its weaknesses. That fucking break-neck riff @ 2:45 in ‘Ontzieling’ remains easily my favourite riff of the entire year. Seriously, find me a more frenetic melodic black metal riff.
Fast-forward just 14 months and the band have returned with another 4-track offering De Doden Hebben Het Goed III, this time on Century Media Records. The doods got picked up by a major(ish?) label? Awesome. Shame that label is too cool to send out promos, as I’d love to review this. Nevermind, I’ll just pre-order it from Bandcamp where the band have sold thousands of copies of their albums previously and dig into it on day one. Ugh, looks like Century Media’s Bandcamp page is stuck in last century. Whatever, guess I’ll just follow the band’s advice and stream it somewhere instead. But where? Spotify? Don’t got it. iTunes? Hahahahah. Meh, these problems are mostly my fault, not theirs. Let’s talk about the music. When the first single dropped, the album’s 12+ minute title track, I was fairly underwhelmed. Thanks to the internet crystallising every single one of our dumb opinions, I can find my exact quote from minutes after listening.
“Aside from the video which is probably going to become the talking point, the subtle changes in the main riffs left the track feeling a little too repetitious for me. Interested to hear it as a part of the album though as the last record had 2 stand-out tracks and 2 duller ones which worked better within the whole piece.”
Cautiously optimistic? Unfortunately, when the rest of the album surfaced, it didn’t repay my confidence. Whereas DDHHGII had just enough memorable moments to push it over the line, DDHHGIII’s most interesting passages merely feel like retreads of the last couple of outings. Even the explosive intro of album closer ‘Parool’ seems like a veiled attempt to recreate the energy of ‘Ontzieling’. Which would be fine, but it all too readily fizzles down into another repetitious re-run of slight variations on the typical theme(s) they’ve been exploring for the past 30 minutes, and if we’re being honest, 3 albums. One thing that can diminish even the greatest of riffs, is playing it into the ground. Trying it with just satisfactory riffs? Disappointing at best.
Is De Doden Het Habben Goed III a bad album? No. Did the band rush in a little too quickly to put something out after their previous success? Maybe. Did the fact that this album was difficult for me to actually hear hinder the experience a little? Probably. Am I still disappointed with the music regardless of all that? Yes. How about you? What did you think of this album?