Alkerdeel - Morinde

4 songs
41:45 minutes
***** ****


Founded in 2005 in a small town located between Ghent and Bruges, Belgian sludge black metal band Alkerdeel released a demo and an EP in 2008, before their debut longplayer De Speenzalvinge came out two years later. Now in early 2012 they are back with its successor Morinde, which is also the first time I have come across them. The album contains two long tracks that begin and end it, with two shorter ones crammed in between.

Nowadays a lot of black metal bands are going for a rather polished sound, while others still remain true to the primeval (primitive?) roots of the movement’s beginning. Alkerdeel certainly don’t belong to the former group. They are even sounding more lo-fi than the latter one, and in the hands of any less talented young men, the result would have been atrocious, but somehow the quartet manages to pull it off. Why is that? Despite the very garagy production, it is still possible to distinguish the different elements. The second track Horsesaw is a rumbling proto black metal eruption which ends after only two minutes, while the nearly six minute long Hessepikn shows the band from their more atmospheric side, surprising even with strangely moving spoken word lyrics.

The two main tracks are the thirteen minute long opener Winterteens and the twenty minute long closer Du Levande, which are bookended by ambient parts recorded by Mories from Gnaw Their Tongues. These two epic tracks contain the same elements than the two more concise middle pieces, yet all is arranged in a way that you never what will hit you next. It all starts with sludgy doom metal in a very underground style, before a nearly grindcore fast black metal parts rips you into a wholly different mood. At times there are hints of Hellhammer and some Norwegian black metal influences, but Alkerdeel are smart enough to make it their very own and thoroughly evil thing.

The songwriting at times is running the risk of getting lost underneath the deliberate muddy production, but if you pay attention, you will be amazed at the great guitar riffs and subtle bass lines throughout the material. Alkerdeel combine the virtues of sludge doom and early black metal with the fuck-you attitude of garage punk, a hybrid which I never thought could work until I had the pleasure of listening to Morinde. If you are truly tired of glossy black metal productions, and have the impression that in regular sludge and doom metal music, there is just not enough happening, then you might want to check out this evil sounding quartet from the Flemish region of Belgium. Not only is Morinde a surprisingly great album, but it even manages to stand out as a thing all of its own!

Back to Reviews