Two years after the “Langs Scheld En Denderland” demo recording, KLUDDE return with “De Verdoken Waarheid”, a split release with WANHOOP on newfound label Nepherex.
I should really say: KLUDDE return with a vengeance, because for all that matters, the band wouldn’t even be standing here today. A major internal crisis (of which I’ll spare you the details. It’s on the website) essentially caused KLUDDE to drop out of activity to the point were the future of the band became very uncertain. Their main guitarist was removed from the line-up, and finally things cleared up. The band got a deal with Nepherex and decided to release the new material as a split with WANHOOP. Enter “De Verdoken Waarheid” and a freshly respawned KLUDDE.
The line-up has been cut back to the very basics, they got rid of the keyboards and we have a real drummer this time instead of the computer. Music-wise, “De Verdoken Waarheid” is a raw barrage of merciless Black Metal. During the course of these six tracks, KLUDDE lashes out again and again with boiling anger. Rage cuts through the opening track like a chainsaw in overdrive, while Ugluk spits out his venomous lyrics in frenzy (Something to do with a certain ex-guitarist I suspect…). Indeed it shows KLUDDE felt they had to make up for something. “De Verdoken Waarheid” is the first standout track, followed by the equally splendid “Heilige Perversiteiten”. “Karos Der Toverheksen” is the first of two old tracks. Much to my embarrassment however, I must admit I didn’t remember it at all when I heard it, unless there have been drastic changes which I don’t know of. I do remember I wrote that “Karos Der Toverheksen” was one of the best songs off “Langs Scheld en Denderland” and this one is no different on “De Verdoken Waarheid”.
Speaking of which, I remember the best song on that demo was “Kludde”, which is somewhat revisited here as “Kluddemèvel” (hence the alternate title: Kludde II). It’s a good song, but not as memorable as the original I find. Finally “Wormen” closes off all guns blazing. At roughly 20 minutes, “De Verdoken Waarheid” has reached its perfect playing time. Less would not have been satisfactory, more could have worn the music off. As it stands, I loved it.
Might I even be so bold to note that I enjoyed “De Verdoken Waarheid” more than DIMMU BORGIR’s latest offering, which is telling a lot I guess. Sometimes, I like it straightforward and simple, without Prague orchestra’s, bombastic song arrangements and explosions going off in the background. For all DIMMU’s bloated pretention, they could learn a thing or two from KLUDDE. Fact is, “De Verdoken Waarheid” is a fun record. It doesn’t necessarily have to wallow in its own ego. It may be no classic, but I sure as hell enjoyed it.
I hate to write anything bad about a band I’m supposed to review, but really there’s nothing on this record to be enthusiastic about. I’m sure “Elegy Of Despair” is a sincere attempt of WANHOOP, and I’m not inclined to question a bands artistical integrity fast, but is it stands, it’s not bound to cause earthquakes of awe and respect in underground circles any time soon. However, I have no intention to diss this record in any way here, because first of all, it’s WANHOOP’s debut, and second, it’s really not half that bad. No, actually, it’s a very average record, but in reality this pains me even more to write about than if it were a bad album. I might have given it a solid trashing but WANHOOP offers just enough potential to tantalize me with their mediocrity. Besides, as I mentioned, it is the band’s debut, so I shouldn’t judge it too harshly.
WANHOOP are something of a marriage between Black Metal in KLUDDE’s style and slower, dirgy Doom Metal. I suppose you could call it mid-tempo Black Metal of some sort, and perhaps a comparison to MY DYING BRIDE isn’t far off (although I’m really searching now). Both lyrically and musically however WANHOOP strays further from MY DYING BRIDE’s doom laden misery, and obviously the Death Metal influence is swapped with a Black Metal inspiration here.
As mentioned, the song quality is mediocre overall, albeit some tracks reveal hidden potential, such as “Weak Human Race” or “Only Death Is Real”. Others, however, are downright laughable, such as “Opus Desperandum” (I’m not even sure the Latin is right here, but then again, who ever cared about that in Black Metal circles). Maybe WANHOOP themselves thought it was hilarious, but I have the distinct feeling they’re taking it dead serious.
Other than that, I don’t know if there’s anything left to talk about. I’m not sure where WANHOOP is going from here, but in the future, better song writing will be essential to success. In a genre simply littered with bands like these, WANHOOP isn’t original enough to make a difference or good enough to make up for that. (Online October 17, 2004)
Guest reviewer Ben Meuleman