05 September 2019
Review by Demitri Levantis
Photos by Ryanite Whitwell
A two-and-a-half-hour performance by one band with no intervals or support act is the kind of thing you’d expect at an arena gig.
However, a black metal band from Belgium proved myself and everyone else around me wrong when they took to the stage tonight and gave us a full rendition of their entire discography.
Wiegedood, a band from East Flanders whose name literally translates from Dutch as ‘cradle death’; let me assure you, there were more morbid things than infant mortality afoot as the Belgian trio began their set with strong applause from the crowd.
By the time this occurred, the Boston Music Rooms, Tufnell Park was swelling well with metalheads who’d come from far and wide to witness this special night.
In their five years on the road, Wiegedood have released a trilogy of albums titled: De Doden Hebben Het Goed (The Dead Are Right), and it was now time to play the three intertwining releases from the last half-decade together as one.
I’m not sure if these albums tell a tale, but the story of this concert got off to a flying start, with a calm, slow and morose opening track that then leapt into a barrage of guitar and drums with vocalist Levy Seynaeve screaming into the mic as if someone had shoved a spear into his guts.
Like most black metal subgenres, Wiegedood created an atmosphere, one of dark and cold moroseness that was oddly warming as the waves of sound crashed and lurched here and there around the venue, bouncing off the walls and making me think of crypts and cemeteries teeming with undead spirits, and made the crowd begin to sway here and there ever so slightly.
The first album was met with everyone staring hungrily at the Belgian trio with no moshing or dancing but very light swaying as the music progressed like a thunderstorm raging over a small town – the machine gun style drumming hitting us like cold, hard rain and the bass crackling into our hearts like thunderbolts.
Every now and again as a song came to a close, everyone cheered happily, and Wiegedood jumped from track to track without stopping. I could tell, as we went onto the next chapter in the trilogy, that these guys took their art very seriously, and each song was screamed or growled like a bard of darkness delivering a series of sonnets about the horrors that lie beyond the grave and are spoken of in European folklore.
I could tell we had reached the final chapter of the trilogy when another instrumental piece sounded from the PA system, which had been nothing short of pristine this whole time and the crowd had now swelled to fill almost all the venue.
As the Belgians slew their way into the last leg of the gig, I looked around and saw how everyone in the crowd was just as fixated on the band as they had been at the start. For a band to keep people standing in awe for over 2 hours without wanting to take a break is more than impressive.
I cannot recall hearing a single off-beat note from drummer Wim Sreppoc or bassist Gilles Demolder – this was certainly the band who I think ought to lead Belgium in the world of black metal today.
Finally, Levy Seynaeve thanked the crowd for their devotion and the band tore into the final track. This one was met with high pitched cheers of applause and amazement as it was a breathtaking the experience to see three young men from Belgium perform a fast and aggressive set for such a long period of time.
I came away knowing Wiegedood will have a strong and devoted fan base here in England for many years to come, as I saw many people buying merchandise from the stalls as I left. You were more than amazing, Wiegedood, and I hope to see you again – especially if you can pull off this sort of performance more than once, which I know you can. Great work.
De Doden Hebben Het Goed
De Doden Hebben Het Goed II
De Doden Hebben Het Goed III