Wederganger - Halfvergaan Ontwaakt

Wederganger is a Dutch black metal band founded in 2013. On their 2015 debut full-length "Halfvergaan Ontwaakt", they play a haunting and desolate brand of black metal. Wederganger's sound is akin to a specter lingering in the shadows of your mind, relentless in its foreboding nature. What makes "Halfvergaan Ontwaakt" unique is how the atmosphere is ubiquitous and dense, yet the music retains a forceful impact. Most bands cannot maintain this duality and, instead, opt for one over the other. "Halfvergaan Ontwaakt" is effective in evoking a demonic sway in their rhythms. This distinguishes Wederganger from the masses of black metal who are overly reliant on melodies for ambience.

The demonic sway is seemingly omnipresent on this album. On 'Gelderse Drek' it opens with a few simple chords accompanied by pounding, domineering drums which carry the riff into a militant gallop. The galloping riff is not unique, but the success lies in the execution and context. Like most of the album, this song pounds along mercilessly without melody.

A rare example of melody is in 'Dodendans', it is hypnotizing and seduces the listener into a dulled haze. It renders Wederganger as a Nixie (a Germanic water spirit who lures men to their deaths), and the listener is a wanderer unable to resist them. However, Wederganger doesn't abandon the rhythms which are a trademark of this album. The song stays true to a slow-medium pace and keeps the melody at the forefront, mesmerizing the listener.

When the music hastens, the change is very distinct and abrupt. There is usually no hint as the listener is immediately cast into a maelstrom of tremolo picked guitars and thunderous drums. At times, the sudden changes can be disorienting. In the middle of 'Wera Wulfa' the song is brought to a screeching halt. Wederganger abandons the rhythmic sway and tempestuous chaos which has carried the album thus far, the listener is left with a slow distorted part which blends into a clean guitar.

"Halfvergaan Ontwaakt" is an incredible debut album, but it isn't without faults. The changes in riffage are, at times, without precedent. The faster parts are weak when compared to the slower parts, and ultimately, the fast parts are forgettable. This album functions at its best when utilizing the slow-medium pace rhythms interspersed with melodies. I give this album a strong 4/5 stars and recommend it to every fan of black metal.

  1. Dwaallichtbezwering
  2. Gelderse Drek
  3. Dodendans
  4. Wera Wulfa
  5. Vlammenvonnis
  6. Schimmenspel
  7. Walmend Graf
  8. Zwarte Gedachten

Reviewer: Kong
Nov 25, 2015

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